Friday, January 18, 2008

The Spanish Steps: A Plastic Makeover

Before & After

For two centuries, the beauty of the Spanish Steps enticed Roman tourists to gaze from the top of the steps down to the landmark Fontalla della Baraccia or inelegantly in English - the Fountain of the Old Boat. A juvenile bald 55 year old, Graziano Cecchini, decided to put an end to the idyllic setting by unleashing over a half million colored plastic balls from the top of the stairs, making the steps invisible in a bouncing tidal wave of tomato red, fuschia, lemon overripe lime and electric blue balls, flooding the historic fountain. All in all, a fine way to disrupt(entertain) tourists, get maintenance crews wearing blending bright vests and orange to herd the wayward balls for collection by a massive parade of garbage trucks.
“It is an artistic operation that documents with art the problems that we have in Italy,” Mr. Cecchini said at the scene. He was later detained by police, news agencies reported.
Now, this is the same artistic iconoclast who dared to turn the waters of the historic Trevi fountain cherry red, making the authorities charge him with defacing a historic monument last October. Cecchini dyed a Roman fountain artifact because it was his way of protesting the Italian government's sponsorship and overspending on a film festival. It did not endear him to an angry and shocked citizenry having such a cavalier and callous attitude towards their treasure. Coins are allowed to be tossed and if you make a wish then one shall return according to the local custom when I was there. After the Dye Art Incident, it was determined Trevi suffered no permanent damage. The bountiful Fountains of Rome are treasures in their own rights.

Ooh, come with me back to Rome where we can watch it happen in all its neon glory...

Many of the fountains in Rome were commissioned by sitting Popes. Pope Urban VII was fortunate in his selection the Baroque artisan Bernini for the Fontalla della Baraccia. Fountains Of Papal Rome is an offering from Mrs. Charles McVeagh.

No comments: