Concerns about the chronic shortage of Carrara marble have led to prices for the precious material rocketing, it has emerged. The shortage is being caused mainly by middle-class homeowners who want it for their kitchen and bathroom work surfaces. According to the Italian Marble and Granite Federation, based in Milan, so much Carrara has been quarried out of the ground over the last 30 years that beautiful landscapes in Tuscany are turning into permanently scarred wastelands.
Federation spokesman Gianluigi Falanghini told us in Italian, which we translated using Google Translate, “12 months of stone digging has disappeared a mountain. That mountain was people’s local pride and a big landmark, now the maps to be re-drawn to be true to landscape.”
Hampstead resident Georgina Trayger, whose kitchen re-fit was delayed due to the lack of affordable Carrara, says “I don’t give a shit about some disappearing mountain in Italy. I want Carrara for my kitchen and I refuse to pay over the odds. Luckily my kitchen fitter has managed to find a slab at a stone depot just off the North Circular. It’s still expensive but at least it’s nicer than the marble that was in here before. The veining was a bit too dark and didn’t match my tea-towels.”
Kitchen fitter Ken Babcock is puzzled by his client’s exacting standards. “The marble we just ripped out of her kitchen was lovely, I don’t know why she didn’t like it. Anyway, I’ll probably make some coffee table tops out of it and sell them on e-Bay.”
However Falanghini is worried. “Our local mountain ski resort became great big hole in ground so is now boating lake.”