All Westerners are familiar with the tragic story of Romeo and Juliet, but what about Ali and Nino, doomed lovers who inspired a colossal automated statue named after them, which now stands on the seashore in Batumi?
The story, first told in the 1937 Austrian novel Ali and Nino, is a familiar story about lovers who fall into the tragic circumstances that set them apart. Unlike warring families, in the case of Ali and Nino, this was World War I. Ali, an Azerbaijani Muslim, falls in love with the Georgian princess Nino, but unfortunately, after they finally get together, the war penetrates their home, and Ali is killed. The author of the novel is unknown, the book is attributed to Kurban Said. But, despite its unknown origin, the name has become a literary classic in this field and is considered the national novel of Azerbaijan.
It was this famous love that inspired the Georgian artist Tamara Kvesitadze to create her monumental moving sculpture in 2010. The giant metal artwork, also known as the “Statue of Love”, consists of two several transparent figures from folded segments. Every day at 7 o'clock in the evening, two figures slide towards each other, eventually merging as their segments pass between themselves, never connecting.
The entire automated presentation takes about ten minutes and is often illuminated with bright, changing colors that give the figures even more life than their coarse metal bodies usually show.