Wednesday, December 7

Rome's Mayor is really the Grinch?

I was going to post today about the truly bizarre Christmas tree I happened to pass last night in Rome's main Piazza Venezia.  At first, I thought it was a promotion of a water company, launching their eco paper drinking cups in place of the plastic.  As someone twittered about the "tree", it looked like a gigantic cone decorated with the Mayor's sash.  Fortunately for Italy, the red-white-green color of our flag happens to match that of Christmas.  Which could be actually deliberate when you come to think that it was good ol' Saint Nick whose bones were stolen out of Turkey back in the day & laid to rest in Bari who started the whole affair in the first place...


In fact, when I took a good look at it, it appeared that the tree was made out of white turkish carpets and topped with a minaret.  Perhaps as a nod to all of the new Italian residents who have shown up on our beaches from Libia and in the recent census?  
Needless to say, by the time I went back to Piazza Venezia to take a photo of the monstrosity, it was gone. Out of sight.
Mayor Alemanno gets into the Christmas spirit
Turns out our Mayor of Do-Overs (search Ara Pacis & you'll see the lively debate which touches on elevators, parking lots, & even a statue of the pope or click for one excerpt here) simply "Didn't like the look."  Errrrr...if he can wield veto powers over city decór, perhaps someone could have let him have a peek at the design to begin with?  
Of course, in these days of austerity, people are asking the question, How much did this new fiasco just cost the people of Rome?  Actually, since it's in eye-shot of tourists in the popular Piazza Venezia, I'd say, How much did this just cost the tourists from the ever-burgeoning 'tourist tax' budget?  Consider it our little Christmas present.  You'd think with all our generosity they'd let us at least step up onto the grass if not to sing a song hand in hand like in the Grinch, to photograph the lovely nativity scene when the do-over is set into place.
But my question is, Did the guy who pocketed the bribe for the "Holiday Decoration Contract" have to return his portion of the fee?  Or, does he get double the money now that they're doing a makeover?
Regardless, I think the Mayor should have done nothing.  With a papier mache tree, it would only have lasted up til the first rain storm anyway.
To see the mirage tree, click here.

1 comment:

Francesca Maggi said...

I have just discovered that our Grinch, who loves to take all things ugly & toss them to the suburbs has decided that the tree will look good in EUR (a place I love for its fascist architecture) - probably plop in the middle of its cemetery for atrocious art (like Arte Brutta)...
It already hosts the world's most horrific "artwork" by a guy who has done more to uglify our bella citta' more than anyone on earth - you can read about it here...
http://burntbythetuscansun.blogspot.com/2010/03/worlds-ugliest-sculptures.html
and a humongous silver arm reaching out like the Creature of the Black Lagoon...