Majowiecki and the Rialto bridge

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The Rialto bridge was completed in 1591. The work took 3 years. It’s a combination of beauty and functionality. The last bridge built in Venice should have cost two million Euro, but the expenditure has arrived at 14 million. To finish it they took 7 years, like for an average pyramid.
Construction is a business. It’s no longer a necessity. A speculation whose beneficiaries are the property groups, and the banks. On V Day, professor Majowiecki was present and is guiding us through a voyage round the horrors of modern urbanism. Half way between the kick backs and a picture by Salvador Dalì. The territory of Italy and its beautiful things are our most important heritage. I believe that the moment has arrived to interrupt every new construction if it is not necessary: the sheds, the sky-scrapers, the road overpasses. Let us deconstruct. Let us invest in the restoration of old buildings. Cement is the present. Let’s look forward and learn from our past.
Beppe Grillo: … they have the money, the subsidies from our taxes, and they talk about things that they don’t understand. They commission the best architects from around the world, they commission Spanish architects and Russian architects, in order to make as if they are creating heaven alone knows what. There are any number of good architects out there and we must get them to talk! One of these is Majowiecki, who has a few things to show you. Go Massimo.
Massimo Majowiecki: Well, I thank you very much for the invitation because it gives me the chance to say one or two things that cannot be said elsewhere. Normally I am limited to speaking to groups of around thirty people, mostly students. For me, this is something totally out of the ordinary. I feel a bit like a singer …
Beppe Grillo: Today you are a pop star!
Massimo Majowiecki: Yes, Yes!! I created these things. Simply to introduce myself: the stadium in Rome, the “Delle Alpi” stadium, the Braga in Portugal and several bridges. Just to say that there was something that I needed to criticise. My first criticism was against the Messina bridge. I wrote on Beppe’s blog so as to let everyone understand precisely what the actual situation is...
Read the whole speech

V2-day, 25 April, for freedom of information:
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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 08:45 PM in | Comments (10)
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I'm venetian and the story of the fourth bridge on the Grand Canal concerns me directly.

Beppe Grillo is right to say that for these type of choices there should be both a system of consultation of the population and of accountability for our political leaders.

In this specific case the fourth bridge would have not seen the light most likely or would have brought to direct accusations to the current mayor of Venice, Massimo Cacciari who, despite having done good things and been an honest person (rare things in our country), was behind this project when decided.

This bridge is:

1) esthetically a failure, in particular because of the position in the corner of the grand canal and relation with the surroundings;

2) economically a distaster: it has costed 6-7 times more than what expected;

3) from the point of view of the utility mostly useless, both because of the proximity with the other bridge and of the limited traffic of people that will cross it.

But we had to pay for it, and the architect and company who engineered it did not pay for any additional cost. This is how Italy works.

Posted by: Francesco Meggiolaro | February 1, 2008 12:22 PM

When I look at Naples I too ask myself but what was everyone doing when everyone was throwing the first pieces of rubbish out on to streets I mean I see where I live just one day that the rubbish isn't collected and everyone complains!!
Another thing you don't know how many times I've heard people say the English are dirty and that they don't clean their homes and how everyone knows some student that stayed with an English family and said it was the pits!
Nobody saying anything anymore obviously! I have always said with my Italian friends that you do whatever you want in your house! I always tell them and 99% of them agree finding a clean public toilet in Italy is like searching for a needle in a haystick!! Do you know what's missing is that there's no common sense of the community it's always think of your house and your family, sweep your balcony keep it clean and spotless and throw it onto the balcony under yours!

Posted by: grace | February 1, 2008 09:34 AM

Boy, were they ever wrong! I'm talking about the poets and writers from other countries who considered Italians to be intelligent people. Yeah, believe it or not we were so considered. But of course, they were talking about other Italians, the Italians who lived before the twentieth cenury. I wish all those poets and writers could see the country today, check-out the intellectual ability of our politicians, the deadly toxic fields and the mountains of garbage in Campania; the rampant systemic organized crime ruling the peninsula; the despicable acts of intollerance towards immigrants and on and on. Actually, I was reminded of this last night while watching "Porta a Porta". The main theme of the show was whether or not the newly appointed political broker, Marini, would be able to rein Italy's parties into agreeing to giving themselves an electoral law. A law capable of bringing in a government that can actually govern and stop the circus-like method which governed Italy over the last sixty years. After an hour and half of discussion, as usual, no conclusion was reached. Then came the surprise (for me anyway). The show switched the topic to the so-called "garbage crisis". The residents of one of the towns in Campania, where the "garbage crisis" is most dire, had actually taken to the streets to battle police escorting garbage trucks and stop them from dumping in a dump nearby. Some of the residents were interviewed and some of the grievences aired by them were hair-raising. But one of the most disturbing was when a woman yelled into the mike that there was not a single family, in that town of ten thousand, that had not had at least one member die of cancer. Some families even had three or four deaths. The denunciations and the pictures backing them up could only make me wonder about the degree of intelligence of the politicians governing the region,and the rapacious, murderous greed of the people who unloaded the most toxic materials and metals on vast tracts of one of the most fertile lands in Italy. The residents' desperation was palpable but, at the same time, I asked myself why they keep on voting for the same politicians and why they didn't take to the streets the moment they saw what was happening? But then I also asked myself how in the world politicians and journalists on that show talked and talked for an hour-and-half for nought while an entire region is (literally) buried in garbage and toxic waste and people are (literally) dying because of that situation? To be sure, I'm no rocket scientist, but what the fuck is going on in Italy? Why are we allowing this to happen to our country? Fuck! We're not stupid! Let's change the fuckers, the whole kit and caboodle of them.

Posted by: Louis Pacella | February 1, 2008 12:56 AM

Hello there,
Italy is in what’s commonly called Trendy Locks status.
Do you Italians realize how lucky all of you are?
Every Law Legislated by the Mr. Prodi’s Government is a failure, while Mr. Berlusconi’s are actually illegal and against EU regulation (From IVA aka Vat, to TV Frequencies and last False Accounting!) so look at it has an half full glass.
Italy is better off without a Government composed of Corrupt Idiots, because in the end (Usually few years down the road!) each and every Law is challenged is not down right incorrect.
So cheer up, No Government means party time for you.
A very understandable defense line if caught could be, “With the Example the Institutions gave us what do you expect from, to smile while I get f***d”
The future looks bright wear shades.

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | January 31, 2008 05:10 PM

Hello folks,
Just one question:
Are they still getting the Paychecks?
While Italians bleed, where is the silent money going?
The future looks bright wear shades!

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | January 31, 2008 01:13 PM

I have seen that in the UK you can put a time and cost deadline on building houses. It means you come to an agreement with the builder on the price and time limit and it is therefore in his interest to build the construction as soon as possible because prices of material and workers keep on going up. I have always wondered why it could this not be done for public works.

Posted by: Anne Thomas | January 31, 2008 11:47 AM

Hello everyone,
It’s Carnival time in Italy and around the World; you can smell it in the air and obviously reading it in the papers.
And so it goes, another futile Marry-Go-Around between Leaders without Leadership, between Parties with “No Martini!” more and more resembling the Jungle Law (The Loudest has the last word.
Somehow it’s clearly all about Credibility, credibility that none of these Idiots have credibility that they lost little by little in the last 30 years.
The trickle down Theorem of Mr. Reagan didn’t stand the times, same as the Credibility of these Buffoons, that for the 62nd time they (And only they!) are convinced to have the solutions.
Italy is at this point so screwed up, that even Military Forces have insufficient credibility to save it from Armageddon.
Very interesting, looking at the evolving situation!
The future looks very bright wear dark shades.

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | January 31, 2008 11:39 AM

What Italy needs is a building plan, like the one UK has got, which does not allow the construction of modern style houses in the english heath.

Posted by: Jason R. Forbus | January 31, 2008 09:50 AM

Quello che racconta Majowiecki è interessante, ma risaputo. Una cosa che non "ci" chiarisce mai nessuno è il meccanismo attraverso il quale allungando i tempi per un'opera riescono a intascare (e far sparire) più soldi!
Sarebbe bene dirlo (io non lo so) così quando la gente vede lavori i cui tempi diventano... faraonici, possa sapere il perché e il per-chi!


Posted by: ramon maj | January 31, 2008 08:26 AM

Construction??? Ask the politici of Spoleto (PG) why they would construct a modern housing project in the centro storico against their own laws and blocking the view of the XIII Torre del'olio and against the will of the Spoletini.

Posted by: Italo Marchini | January 30, 2008 10:10 PM

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