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Bridge of Signs

Posted on October 4th, 2011 at 21:22 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself -- Write a comment


Most people know that Venice has long been threatened by chronic flooding, but in recent years the Queen of the Adriatic has faced a rising tide of a different sort: advertising.

From the Doge’s Palace to St. Mark’s Square to the bittersweet Bridge of Sighs — named for the grief its splendid views once inspired in crossing death row prisoners — immense billboards lit late into the night now mar the city’s most treasured places.

Allegedly built to cover the cost of restoration work in the face of government cutbacks, the ads have brought in around $600,000 per year since 2008 — a fraction of the shortfall — and show no sign of going away any time soon. Their presence prompted a consortium of the world’s leading cultural experts led by the Venice in Peril Fund to air an open letter demanding the city government put a stop to the placards that “hit you in the eye and ruin your experience of one of the most beautiful creations of humankind.” Mayor Giorgio Orsoni, for one, was not moved, saying last year “If people want to see the building they should go home and look at a picture of it in a book.”

Another photo of the now-pitiful Bridge of Sighs

Venice stages its own funeral to mourn population decline

Why are Venetians fleeing, anyway? It’s not due to flooding…

Troubled waters: Paintings show Venice in decline

“Venezia” by flapjax at midnite

  1. Italy doesn’t have any redeeming features anymore. Let the Vatican and Mafia fight for the few remaining scraps.

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