Web Analytics Trust People (once an Englishman in Philly): Wien, Mozart, socialism and Cameron

Monday, January 30, 2006

Wien, Mozart, socialism and Cameron

Back from a delightful weekend in Europe. I was lucky enough to be in Vienna for the celebrations of Mozart's 50th birthday on Friday. The atmosphere in the Stephansdom, in the very centre of Vienna was fantastic and it was great to catch up with old friends and meet new acquaintances at the same time...

Beyond my usual enjoyment of seeing more of Europe and marvelling at the delights of euro-integration (outside Britain!) the one thing which struck me more than any other was seeing the reconstruction of the breath-taking Stephansdom, above. I was surprised at how they were trying to fund it. No, not that they were actually doing it without a grant from the EU, but because they were selling space on the scaffolding for two large businesses to advertise. This, corporate names adorning the architecture which forms its centerpiece, in the city which has a red star built above the entrance to its Volkstheater as testament to its socialist traditions!

Having further enquired of my Vienna-resident freund, Simon, who assured me it was not the city authority but the Cathedral itself who were behind it (although permission was granted), it didn't seem a bad analogy for Cameron's Conservatives the more I thought of it. The slogan reads along the lines of "if you donate that will make three of us (two companies and an individual). The steeple needs your help." Isn't it a perfect example of individuals, local government, the corporate world and communities cooperating for the collective good? The companies, showing their caring aspect, get great exposure. Individuals may well be more likely to contribute due to the prominence of the appeals. The cathedral gets renovated. The community gets an even more spectacular centrepiece to bring in tourists.

And, ok, it's a bit of an eyesore for a few months, but scaffolding's never pretty and it gives British bloggers something to exercise their fingers when they've sobered up and returned...


At 9:44 pm, Blogger Laurajane said...

I think you meant Mozart's 250th birthday!! ;-) I'm very jealous Ed. I would have loved to be in Vienna this weekend.

At 10:10 pm, Anonymous James H said...

I think he meant the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth, but I'm a pedant.

At 12:03 pm, Blogger Edward said...

Indeed - you're both right!


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home