Miscellaneous: news all around ornamental stone and rock

Marguerite Weber-Ravit. Photo: privateFor the first time in France, a woman has won the title of “Best Worker“ in the stonemasonry category. The winner in 2023 was Marguerite Weber-Ravit, 37 years old and mother of 3 children. She comes from the traditional Ravit company, which was founded in Livron-sur-Drôme in 1836 where the title of Meilleur ouvrier de France had already been won by grandfather Régis in 1976 and by father and current company head Georges in 1994. The competition consists of a practical work and an oral examination. It is planned for the coming years that Marguerite Weber-Ravit will take over the business together with her brother François-Régis, reports Le Moniteur. After training as a stonemason, she completed a school for interior design (French 1, 2).

A webpage shows photos of the volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland on January 14, 2024. It had started in December after having been announced by a series of earthquakes.

The 3rd French stone fair Rocalia in Lyon (December 05 – 07, 2023), together with its partner fair Paysalia (garden, landscape), recorded 38,101 visitors (+40% compared to the 2nd edition) and 1732 exhibitors (+21%). The show is mainly a French affair: 6% of the visitors came from abroad, most from Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Portugal. The next edition will be held 2025 (December 02 – 04).

Patrick Perus will step down as CEO of Canadian stone giant Polycor after almost 20 years in the company. On LinkedIn he gives some details of the story: “We injected a new sense of ambition into the entire sector. When I assumed the role of CEO in 2012, Polycor‘s revenue hovered around $30M USD. Today, we stand at close to $300M USD“ (1, 2).

Biesse S.p.A. will acquire the worldwide assets of the GMM Group in a €72 million cash and debt-assumption deal.

Feldspar is very common in rocks. As atmospheric dust, this mineral contributes efficiently to cloud formation. Researchers at TU Wien have now discovered what happens during this process.

“How granite forms, minerals, and composition“ is a topic on the ZME Science webpage.

Geoarchaeologist Per Storemyr has put some medieval Norwegian lime mortars under the polarized light microscope and published the findings.

Siranna is a new hotel project in the planned mega-city of NEOM in Saudi Arabia. The luxury destination promises “a truly unique experience for guests,“ according to the webpage of Woods Bagot architects. It will comprise a 65-room hotel along with 35 private residences in hexagonal buildings similar to a basalt columns (1, 2).

The new Museum of the Forma Urbis in Rome, close to the Colosseum, displays a marble map of the ancient city dating from Emperor Septimius Severus (145-211 AD).

Video of the month: Chainsaw massacres have their annual season as ice sculpting is popular in the wintertime in the north. A tourist attraction is the annual ice festival in the city of Harbin in Northern China.

(15.01.2024, USA: 01.15.2024)