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Tuesday 22 June 2021

Letter from A mermaid that does not enchant

A mermaid that does not enchant

Author of the content

di Raffaele Aragona

It was read in the Neapolitan newspapers a few weeks ago that the councilor for sport "took stock of the situation on the initiatives in honor of Maradona stopped by the prosecutor". Apart from his perplexities on the issues raised, rightly so, by that Office due to the presence in the commission of people not in possession of the necessary requisites, the councilor himself concluded by saying that "The statue of Maradona will be built, there is idea of ​​also changing the name of the square ». There is to be doubly surprised by so much confidence, by the commitment and by the activities manifested without respecting the due procedures, not to mention the now former councilor for culture and his partner about the acquaintance relationships with the ultra fan present in the commission. : someone who would even have expressed the idea of ​​replacing the statue of the Hero of the Two Worlds in Piazza Garibaldi with that of Maradona. Nothing, of course, compared to those who, at the head of the city council, about the affair of the mural dedicated to the baby robber, came to "order" the Prefect to think about something else!

It has become common to see the announcement of interesting initiatives in public places; beyond the claim to erect statues or altars or murals in homage not to saints or heroes, but to common characters, even famous footballers or artists loved by the people and even young robbers, there are now also those who think, in a way more cólta, to adorn a symbolic place of Naples such as Monte Echia with the statue of a mermaid.

The Spinacorona fountain known as "of the zizze"
The Spinacorona fountain known as "of the zizze"

There are those who claim the right to decide for themselves, in a private way, albeit with the support of a committee, on the installation of a "monument" in a public place, bypassing all the necessary procedures: the decision of the municipal administrative bodies, the opinion of the Commission for the Landscape, the approval by the Superintendence of Artistic Heritage. The approval of what? Of a project of a work to be entrusted with a regular competition, as it would be a must, if you really felt the need for a siren leaning up there.

the project
the project

There is talk of a bronze siren of considerable size placed on the top of Mount Echia already defaced and offended by other intrusions, such as that of the horrendous technical volume connected to an elevator connecting with Via Santa Lucia and on whose fate it is difficult to decide something.

the bronze sketch of the work
The bronze sketch of the work

Of the siren (of considerable size: 3,60 m on a masonry base with marble covering 2,50 m high) it is not clear who is the artist in charge (by whom?), Perhaps with the ambition of leave a trace of himself to posterity. All this, it is feared, could be made possible by an administration that is not caught, but continually caught in flagrant manifestations of little common sense as well as common sense. An initiative of this kind needs a project, a competition, a committee of experts; without all this there is the risk (of course) of adding another thing out of tune in this wonderful city. A work for which the reason is not understood and which, of course, is destined to disappear in the face of the many precious representations of the siren that already adorn so many places in Naples.

The horrible statue of Mother Teresa of Calcutta comes to mind at the intersection of via Tasso with via Aniello Falcone. It was June 2003 when, almost suddenly, in that open space just as suddenly named (with decisive synchronism) to Teresa of Calcutta, the Neapolitans found themselves in front of an ugly and very dark statue depicting the slender Albanian known for his activities beneficial and, at least apparently, relief of her sick (she had not yet been canonized).

Maria Teresa of Calcutta
Maria Teresa of Calcutta

A short time later, in the space in front of the entrance to the "Materdei" Station of Line 1 of the Naples Metro, a space entrusted to the architect Mendini (the one who wanted to restore the Municipal Villa), a polychrome statue of a peasant-fisherman was found. Whose head was stuck in the mouth of a fish, a carp? Maybe yes, reading the suggestive ... title of the work: Carpe Diem !

Carpe Diem
Carpe Diem

And to say that the author was not a stranger, but someone quite well known who, evidently, on that occasion had decidedly wanted to amaze.

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