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On a fountain dated 1753 in the little village of Dresio there is a reproduction of the most significant artwork in the ancient burgh of Vogogna: the so-called “Mascherone”, a mysterious Celtic Face made of soapstone.
The original, which has been dated to the second Iron Age (ca. 450-15 BC) and is now kept in the Palazzo Pretorio in Vogogna, is one of the major examples of Celtic art in Piedmont. The engraved lines shaping the face, those on the forehead and those beside the eyes, as well as the large “anchor-shaped” moustache attached to the straight nose, all highlight the symbolic value of the face; the wrinkles on the brow come together to form the branches of a tree, of which the trunk is the nose and which extends to the arched eyebrows.
Probably this exceptional example of the figurative culture of the Lepontine Ossola was intended to represent the Celtic divinity of Cernunnos, the Lord of the woods, inspired by the indigenous cult of water and vegetation.
Archaeological studies support the hypothesis that the Mascherone was part of a statue which once stood in a sacred open-air place.
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