A couple of years ago we headed out to EUR, the community south of Rome that was created in the late 1930s and early 1940s (before the war intervened) by Mussolini and his fellow Fascists to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the March on Rome (1922) and to affirm Rome's links to the sea and the Italian nation's role as an imperial power. We went there to find a work of art, this one designed by an architect: Massimiliano Fuksas' "Cloud,"
which we had heard was somewhere in the Palazzo dei Congressi, one of EUR's most famous buildings. Once in the Palazzo we poked around, went upstairs and downstairs, opened this door and that, but all to no avail: no Cloud to be found. Later we learned that it didn't exist. It still doesn't, but it might. They're building it now--the Cloud will house, or be contained within, a "congress" or meeting place-- obviously at considerable expense (photo of the construction site, below).
And we are astounded that they are. Yes, it will probably be pretty cool. But when was the last time that a government that couldn't afford to pay its pensions or teachers, not to mention fix potholes or collect the garbage, invested millions and millions in an architect's visionary concept? If you build it, they will come? We'll come, but I don't know about "they."