Sunday 29 April 2007: The Italian Chapel
A couple of days ago my blip was of the 3rd barrier. Today I thought I would show the other legacy the Italian POWs left Orkney.
The chapel was lovingly crafted by the prisoners from barbed wire, tin cans, cement, driftwood - anything they could get their hands on. It is a true work of art. All the more beautiful given the circumstances of it's creation.
I am not a religious person but I do love, admire and stand in awe of the things humans can create in the name of the things they believe in. I have visited enormous cathedrals, beautiful ornate chapels and tiny mediaeval churches. All of which are a credit to their creators. But this one is one of the most poignant.
This chapel is on Lamb Holm. There were 2 more camps on Burray and another chapel there. I don't think it was as ornate as this one but I have seen photographs of the alter and it was just as beautiful. However the camps and it were demolished after the war. I like to think that maybe some of the art work survives in the homes of decendants of the demolition men. Even if it was just a lantern made from a corn beef tin.