an among-friends-on-Steroids event
Here’s an excerpt from a New York Times article about a local institution, Kim’s (a video rental store), closing down and its unique collection being moved to Italy. An ENTIRE TOWN is going through an among-friends-on-Steroids event:
“According to the report, an ancient town in western Sicily called Salemi had initiated an unusual renewal project. Founded around the fourth century B.C., the town achieved brief renown as the site where Giuseppe Garibaldi first planted the country’s tricolored flag in 1860 during his quest for a unified Italy.
But Salemi’s moment of glory lasted only a day before the place slipped into oblivion. A devastating earthquake in 1968 proved the final blow, and for decades, the historic center sat abandoned, the town largely forgotten.
Now, an ambitious effort was under way to reverse the damage.
The town had invited prominent artists and intellectuals to assume control of the government. An art critic and onetime anarchist named Vittorio Sgarbi was elected mayor. A prince was put in charge of town planning, and a performance artist was officially declared alderman to nothing. The provocative Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani, whose ad campaigns for Benetton included a series on AIDS patients and inmates on death row, was named alderman of creativity.
Ms. Pauli had worked with Mr. Toscani years earlier. Now, as president of a small arts foundation called Clio, an organization devoted, as she put it, to promoting “culture as an everyday thing, something you consume every day,” she was fascinated by this effort to give artists political power.”
Here’s the link to the full article: www.nytimes.com/2009/02/08/nyregion/thecity/08kims.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1