Tuesday, 12 October 2010

How To Save Venice

(by Charles Glass in Taki's Magazine)

An international shouting match is underway over the fate of the city everyone loves but no one wants to live in: Venice. It started back in 2008, after Venice ran out of cash to maintain its more famous monuments. To cover some of the repairs on the Palazzo Ducale and the Bridge of Sighs (through which Giacomo Casanova made a famous escape), the local administration allowed the restorers to raise money by selling advertising space on their building scaffolds. This caused mild irritation when the sponsors were Moët Chandon and Bulgari. I, for one, did not mind seeing Julianne Moore’s pretty face touting Bulgari jewels from my gondola in the Grand Canal.

Last summer, however, Coca-Cola bought some space, and the aesthetic world went mad. Coca-Cola’s spokesman may have stretched the truth when he defended its Venetian ads by saying, “When we advertise, we are always conscious of local and artistic heritage.”


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