La Cité the fairytale collection of ramparts and pencil-point roofs is celebrating its 20th year as a UNESCO heritage site and for that reason the Carcassonne council decided to commission a work from Varini.
I've just tried to look up how much the project cost but no one's saying . . . a million euros? No idea but probably not more than some unnecessary prettifying a few of the department's roundabouts and planting all municipal flower beds with plants destined for landfill.
I do admit to having mixed feelings about massive art statements when there are so many human-scale necessities - better schools, better quality canteen food, council housing improvements, etc etc. BUT, why not create something extraordinary that will create debate, up the numbers of curious visitors and in some way make people look just a bit harder at the structure and sheer building feat of such a monument?
It is spectacular from far away and close up. In fact, close-up it's quite touching to see the way the yellow strips have been moulded to each stone by one of many pairs of artist hands.
I was hoping to hear some choice moans while standing gawping but I must have been there at a point of extreme positive vibes; everyone snapping away, selfi-ing and discussing the amount of time and maths it must have taken to make such a thing.
Mark went recently and caught some super-whinging - how it would spoil wedding photos; how people had travelled thousands of miles to see this fabulous monument - their trips utterly ruined!
Actually, it's only on one side, so you don't have to look at it if you can't bear the idea, and also, most people seem to spend most time inside the walls eating ice-cream and waffles, buying plastic helmets and looking at appalling art.