miércoles, 29 de diciembre de 2010
The social meanings of monuments are rarely fixed and certain and are frequently 'contested' by different social groups. As an example whilst the former East German socialist state may have seen the Berlin Wall as a means of 'protection' from the ideological impurity of the west, dissidents and others would often argue that it was symbolic of the inherent repression and paranoia of that state. This contention of meaning is a central theme of modern 'post processual' archaeological discourse.
Monuments have been created for thousands of years, and they are often the most durable and famous symbols of ancient civilizations. The Egyptian Pyramids, the Greek Parthenon, and the Moai of Easter Island have become symbols of their civilizations. In more recent times, monumental structures such as the Statue of Liberty and Eiffel Tower have become iconic emblems of modern nation-states. The term monumentality relates to the symbolic status and physical presence of a monument.
martes, 28 de diciembre de 2010
The cathedral's five broad naves, divided by 40 pillars, are reflected in the hierarchic openings of the facade. Even the transepts have aisles. The nave columns are 24.5 metres (80 ft) high, and the apsidal windows are 20.7 x 8.5 metres (68 x 28 feet).
John Ruskin commented acidly that the cathedral steals "from every style in the world: and every style spoiled. The cathedral is a mixture of Perpendicular with Flamboyant, the latter being peculiarly barbarous and angular, owing to its being engrafted, not on a pure, but a very early penetrative Gothic … The rest of the architecture among which this curious Flamboyant is set is a Perpendicular with horizontal bars across: and with the most detestable crocketing, utterly vile. Not a ray of invention in a single form… Finally the statues all over are of the worst possible common stonemasons’ yard species, and look pinned on for show. The only redeeming character about the whole being the frequent use of the sharp gable … which gives lightness, and the crowding of the spiry pinnacles into the sky.” The plastered ceiling painted to imitate elaborate tracery carved in stone particularly aroused his contempt as a “gross degradation”.
While appreciating the force of Ruskin’s criticisms, Henry James was more appreciative: “A structure not supremely interesting, not logical, not … commandingly beautiful, but grandly curious and superbly rich. … If it had no other distinction it would still have that of impressive, immeasurable achievement … a supreme embodiment of vigorous effort.”
Duomo di Milano in the popular culture
* The 1934 song "O mia bela Madonina" by Giovanni d'Anzi about the golden Madonna statue on the spire can be considered today an unofficial "city anthem" of Milan.
* Luchino Visconti's 1960 film Rocco e i suoi fratelli, set in Milan, has a scene which takes place on the roof of the cathedral.
* Many Milanese dialect speakers, due to the centuries needed to complete the Duomo, use the "Fabbrica del Duomo" ("Fabrica del Dom" in the dialect) as an adjective (sometimes humorously, sometimes not) to describe an extremely long, too complex task, maybe even impossible to complete.
* The Italian phrase "mangiare a ufo", stemming from the Milanese dialect mangià a uf meaning "being paid for a job not done", comes from the fact that the goods used to build the Duomo wore the inscription "A.U.F.", shorthand for Latin "Ad Usum Fabricae" (to be used for the construction) and were exempt from taxation.
* A souvenir model of the cathedral was thrown at the nose of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi during an attack on December 13, 2009. 
* In the song "In Every Age" from the musical Titanic. Comparing the building with the Pyramids of Egypt and the Titanic as one of the greatest feats of architecture.
Berlusconi Attacker Apologizes for "Cowardly and Rash Act"
Massimo Tartaglia , 42, the man that struck against Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi, is arrested at Duomo place in Milan, Italy, 13 December 2009. Photo by EPA/BGNES
An Italian man who broke Silvio Berlusconi's nose and teeth by striking him with a souvenir model has apologized to the Italian prime minister for his "cowardly and rash act," the attacker's lawyers said, as cited by BBC.
Massimo Tartaglia, 42, who has a history of mental illness, acted alone and without any political or militant interests at heart, his lawyers said in a brief statement released late on Monday.
In a letter sent to Berlusconi, Tartaglia expressed his "heartfelt regret for a superficial, cowardly and rash act in which he did not recognize himself," the statement said.
Meanwhile Italy's interior minister, Roberto Maroni, said the attack on the Italian Prime Minister on Sunday was premeditated.
Maroni said the suspect, named as Massimo Tartaglia, had been "developing a rage" against the PM "for some time".
Berlusconi, 73, suffered a broken nose, cuts and two broken teeth after being hit with a model of Milan cathedral after a rally in the city.
He is to leave hospital on Wednesday with orders to rest, his doctor said.