Monday, March 26

Pope John Paul II gets a stiff neck?

In my book I have an entire chapter dedicated to Do-Overs.  It comes hand in hand with an organizationally challenged populace.  I'll call the millions wasted in redoing things, from the italia.it website to the repaving of roads to removing hundreds of huge illegal billboards only to find them put up again, collateral damage.  After the wild polemic over Rome's Ara Pacis (although it has yet to be dismantled and redone), or the recent lawsuit in Venice over Calatrava's bridge, so it was no different for the imposing statue of our Pope John Paul II who in death helped unite Italy:  99.9% of Romans agreed that it was a monstrosity (that .1% represents the artist and the foundation which approved the commission of the piece).  You can cast your vote on what it looks like to you on my blog entry about the statue itself.
In any case, a recent trip by Rome's Termini Train Station, and I found the statue completely under wraps.  I immediately thought it mercifully had been removed. On the web, conspiracy theories (Italy's national pastime) of its fate (and our fortune) along these lines are running rampant.  Judging by some of the stories, it might well be that the artist is currently chiseling away to give our Pope a neck, as requested by the Mayoral committee selected to investigate the Jolly Green Giant in our midst. Without one in fact, the Pope looks like a massive refrigerator whose door has been torn off so little kids won't get stuck inside.
Picture from okrome.it 
Other stories state that the statue is simply being restored (mind you, after only one year) since having been put in place as a gigantic pigeon coop in front of Termini Station.  In fact, driving by it a few weeks prior, I was stunned to see that the bronze had completely corroded.  The artist states he is not, in fact, carving a neck out, but only changing something that got bent out of shape "during transportation".  Yeah right.  Like the original design got melted down into the Hulk (sans bulging appendages-which includes a scrag of some sort) during a huge highway pileup on the road over.  I think the finish has much more to do with the tens of thousands of swallows that nest in the trees nearby each season.  
Either way, our artist seems to have taken notes on green finishes from my personal pick for ugliest work of art on earth:  the two armless lime green women decorating the McGraw Hill building on New York City's Avenue of the Americas.
Well, it won't be over 'til the fat man sings.  In the meantime, our Pope already well on the road toward sainthood may produce a miracle of his own: and get the statue removed altogether -- perhaps to the suburbs of Rome, our beloved Mayor's favorite spot for some of the other eyesores in sight.


*colored bits above are live links to articles

3 comments:

Dave514 said...

And to think it all started with the "Typewriter."

Davide

Francesca Maggi said...

;) Except the typewriter was never changed...they just plowed over most of the medieval & ancient roman ruins to build it!
But I actually happen to be a huge fan.

Dave514 said...

Yo mama!
I happen to like it too. I saw a great display of all of the Italian Army through the ages with a really good one on the Besaglieri. No i wont make the obvious remark.

Davide