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Ghost Bus 2019 with Roberto Alborghetti - Public and Press Reactions

Updated: Jun 15, 2021

by Marysia Zipser

It's always a joy to welcome Roberto to Beeston and Nottingham. Here are public reactions to his 'In Conversation with..." evening on Wednesday 5th June at The Garage in Beeston/Chilwell

Photos by Tracey Whitefoot /Whitefoot Photography.

See her album on my previous blog 11.6.19.

"I was pleased to be invited to this event and was fascinated by the excellent work. It’s delightful to see the creative community bringing events like this to our Borough." - Mayor of Broxtowe, Councillor Michael Brown "Enjoyed it very much! Very interesting and entertaining. Thank you!" - Pam Miller & Rosemary Wels "Great to meet up again! The Ghost Bus Lives On!!" - Christopher Frost - The Beestonian. Read Christopher's awesome review further down. "Thank you for prompting me to come to this Marysia! It was an enjoyably eclectic evening, very warm and sociable." - Karen Med ​"We found the evening fascinating, Roberto finds another angle with which to see the world; he slows us down and helps us to appreciate the here and now - the beauty of the everyday. It was refreshing and energising! " - Jeanie Barton "Thank you for the live-streaming, wonderful to watch!" - Lee A. Meisner, Ohio, USA “A relaxed evening listening to someone with an amazing range of interests and achievements, from being the official biographer of Pope Francis to a visual artist specialising in abstract photography.” “Roberto’s work in education is fascinating: he has recently written a book articulating the concerns many have for the limiting effects of social media on young people.” ​“William Ranieri was an impressive interviewer, and did much to create a positive and relaxing evening. As with all good interviewers he knew when to step back and when to gently nudge forward.” - All above comments from Robert Richardson

"By all accounts it was a superb visit and a very successful one, and a real pleasure to be involved in some small way. " - Tracey Whitefoot / Whitefoot Photography "Wonderful to watch the video! Thank you Marysia!" - Billie Urabazo, Sante Fe, USA "Fantastic video to watch. This is real proof of your good works." - Kwabena Boadu, Ghana "I really enjoyed seeing YARDEN MITRIANI’s Volcano dress, such a talented designer. Roberto was interesting to listen to and it was fascinating how colours from the Ghost Bus have inspired him and connected him to Nottingham. The venue was perfect for the event , it is a great space , with a creative vibe." - Dawn Booth "I did really enjoy hearing from Roberto and finding out more about his life and his projects, I didn’t realise the sheer scope of the things he’d worked on, and for some quite prestigious people along the way too." "The venue was very well chosen and perfect for the occasion – with a nicely lit stage , didn’t feel too big or too small and I also really enjoyed the meal at Amores too along the way." - Lamar Francois

Besides receiving NottsTV edited film coverage that evening, The Beestonian magazine featured the event with a glowing Facebook article on 6th June by Christopher Frost.

The Italian Job by Christopher Frost Milan based visual artist and journalist Roberto Alborghetti arrived in Beeston today, on another of his annual pilgrimages to his favourite English town. Roberto has been coming to Beeston every year since his first visit in October 2014, through an invitation by Marysia Zipser, of the local ACT Group, which promotes artistic tourism. During this first visit, Roberto went to see the old buses at Bartons' garage, and was amazed when he saw a derelict bus, full of rust, mould and cobwebs, which had been found rotting in a farmers field. And so sprung up the 'Ghost Bus' legend, when Roberto turned this 1956 vintage bus into a film star, through the use of close up photographs of the flaking paintwork, the scratches and the general decay of the vehicle. ​Fast forward to tonight, and Roberto was back at Bartons, this time to talk about his work, both with art and by being the present Pope's official biographer. He was interviewed by Italian, but Brighton based videographer and journalist William Ranieri. The session began by Roberto explaining how he got into photographing close up shapes and colours in objects that he sees. It began for him in the early 1990s on a street in Milan, when he came across this hoarding with lots of pieces of torn posters on it. Maybe just the odd letter or bit of picture. So he took some photos with a film camera and was amazed at the way that they turned out. Of course it's a lot easier now with digital cameras, and a never ending number of shots you can take, rather than the usual 36. Roberto saw something in the Ghost Bus. The lifelong journey of the bus that was written into its bodywork. He managed to transform the old vehicle into an art subject. But that was just the first journey for URR 865. In October 2015, Marysia took seven people, including me on a week long tour of Tuscany. This trip culminated in the unveiling of the 'Volcano Dress', which had been created by fashion designer Yarden Mitrani, and had used one of Roberto's photos, which looked like an exploding volcano. Roberto followed the Ghost Bus film up with another one of Bartons' vehicles. This time based around a 1955 Land Rover, which was also in a state of decay. The short 'Land Rover Mapping' film is also complimented by one of Jeanie Barton's gentle songs. Turning to Roberto's other area of work, he spoke about the 6th book that he has written about Pope Francis. This one has been titled 'Dinner With The Pope', although Roberto would have preferred his title; 'Don't Joke With The Food', as it's about enjoying food in a relaxed way and food waste, rather than sharing a bag of chips with his Holiness. Roberto explained that there is no better human experience, than sitting around a table and eating a meal with friends and family. Apparently the Pontiff studied the chemistry of food in his younger days. These days he likes to eat simple meals like pasta, spaghetti and vegetables. He is also very fond of Argentinian mate tea. The Pope is concerned about the state of the planet and its land use. Some €15b worth of food is wasted each year in Italy alone, whilst thousands of people die each year from starvation.

Besides writing about his Holiness, Roberto also pens books for the younger generation. His latest is about the use of the smart phone and how much time is wasted on social media. It has been calculated that the average 6-8 year old spends four hours a day on their mobile, or some 45 days a year that's lost to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. This is obviously a lot longer for someone older. Roberto is currently working on a new book about how a young person can become a good citizen and loving where they live. The event was screened live through Facebook and Broxtowe's new mayor Cllr Michael Brown, a keen photographer himself was in attendance. To round off the evening, the Ghost Bus film was screened, so that people could either see it for the first time, or be reacquainted with its story.

This article appeared in Beeston Local News July issue as well as online 18.6.19 and in BREEZE magazine July issue ​The Special Event in Nottingham – Building Bridges with Art, Culture and Tourism 18/06/2019 BY DIGITAL MEDIA

Marysia Zipser, Will O'Shea, Mayor of Broxtowe Cllr Michael Brown, Roberto Alborghetti & Jeanie Barton. Photo: Inna Schutts

Last week Beeston welcomed the annual return of ACT special guest Roberto Alborghetti from Italy who is the official biographer to Pope Francis, visual artist, best selling author and award winning environmental journalist.

During a 4 day organised program, a publicised event took place at The Garage / Gallery events venue at Bartons Chilwell on Wednesday 5th June – ‘The Ghost Bus 2019 – In Conversation with…Roberto Alborghetti’.

It was a fascinating and engaging evening hosted by native Italian journalist and Director-Producer, William Ranieri from TheLatestTV in Brighton.

As a visual artist Roberto had already started, nearly 20 years ago, a project called “Laser/Actions” focusing on images of natural cracks and scratches, urban and industrial tokens and materials.

Roberto explained about how, while touring the classic vehicles at Bartons during his first 2014 visit, he chanced upon the Ghost Bus, a 1956 URR 865 Reliance, which had spent 20 years slumbering in an open Suffolk field. He started to take macro photographs of what he ‘saw’ in the old vehicle – Lands, Horizons, Seas, Skies. He left inspired to make a short film about the Ghost Bus which was premiered at Bartons March 2015 when the old bus was stage illuminated. In October that year, the film was shown in Piancastagnaio Tuscany during a week long ACT tour by eight Beeston friends. His Ghost Bus images have since spawned designs for fashion like The Volcano Dress, textiles and wine labelling. The Ghost Bus ‘Roads’ Project is now touring.

Since 2016 Roberto has been collaborating with Beeston singer/songwriter Jeanie Barton to create visual and musical films including Colours of Nottingham Streets to “Can I Think of Love?” and Images of Beeston to “Soon”, featured on Jeanie’s newly launched CD album ‘Moments of Clarity’.

He talked about Pope Francis and latest best seller “Dining with Pope Francis” translated into 15 languages, food and food waste and his guide books for children – the ‘Social or Dis-Social’ boom and one about the use of smartphones and cyberbullying. When asked about what Robin Hood means to him today, Roberto answered “…positive rebellion and courage.”

The Mayor of Broxtowe, Councillor Michael Brown said, “I was pleased to be invited to this event and was fascinated by the excellent work. It’s delightful to see the creative community bringing events like this to our Borough.”

The whole conversation with film/music clips and stills was LIVE streamed and can be seen via

For further information about Roberto Alborghetti and The Ghost Bus events please see


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