Tuesday, November 25, 2008

not the last super-sized supper!

i wish i were awake enough right now to use my trusted sharpie marker to "fix" this painting of leonardo's. yes, i would a doodle of a couple of super-sized big macs with large fries and a gigantic diet coke, plus a few oreo-cookie shakes.
why? because merchandising culture and the arts is where it is at these days.
yep, in italy our beloved home of world respected art and culture has been in dire economic straits for some time now. In italy there have been government budget cuts that makes tending to the upkeep of these important sites nearly impossible. sadly, visitor ticket prices and sale increases only cover about 10% budget for heritage upkeep.
So a new saviour (or should i say, new director of development of state museums and archaeological sites) has been appointed in the last few months.
none other than the man who ran all the italian Macdonalds subsidiaries for the last 12 years.
yep, mario resea knows nothing about the arts or italian's cultural heritage, he admits, but he sure knows about merchandising and mega business and loans.........
italy passed a new law 15 years ago that allowed commercial sales in the hallowed grounds of museums, etc. , but no one has, up until now, taken the new laws for an exercise in stretching. stretching the art loving visitor's wallet.
so, resea believes the world of art will thrive only if italy increases visitor consumption, i.e. merchandising. you might find when you next visit the Vatican that you will also be able to buy a mac-papal burger or a virgin mac-mary cocktail drink, and french friar fries.
even italy, the world's motherlode of art and culture, will fall helplessly into the arms of entreprenurial dictatorship - who will only want to use and exploit her.

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