Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

The U.S. Military Vs Italy's Cultural Wealth

The U.S. Military versus Cultural Wealth


By David Swanson

If you build a big enough empire with enough enormous military bases in enough countries, sooner or later you're going to displease just about everyone. The list of those unhappy with recently proposed expansions of imperial outposts includes artists and architects.

In the tradition of the trashing of the artistic treasures of Iraq, the U.S. military has set its sites on the Italian Renaissance. Many Americans are familiar with the work of Andrea Palladio.

After all, Thomas Jefferson based the design of his home on Palladio's villas, and there's a picture of it on every American nickel. Even the White House is a rip-off of a Palladian villa.

Most of Palladio's best work is still standing in and around the Italian town of Vicenza. The building in the middle of town with the green roof is known as the Basilica Palladiana.

Palladio's most famous house, the Villa Rotonda, sits just outside of town. The town and many of the surrounding villas are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Looks idyllic, right? Then you probably don't work for the U.S. military.

When the Pentagon looks at Vicenza, it thinks: "This would be a perfect place for a bigger military base."

Against the passionate protest of the majority of the citizens of Vicenza, whose outrage recently (temporarily) drove the Prime Minister of Italy out of office, our very own U.S. Department of "Defense" plans a massive expansion of its existing facilities, with a huge new base a mile and a half from the Basilica.

The people of Vicenza aren't happy.


Here is an excellent article about the proposed expansion, and here's an excerpt:

"The proposed solution to the battle of the bulge is to shoe-horn a new military facility into the existing small civilian airport called Tommaso Dal Molin, which sits on a precious piece of green space just a mile and a half northwest of the town's historic center. The project would also possibly involve enlarging some of the existing roads that run between Caserma Ederle on the southeast and Dal Molin to the northwest. The proposed plans mean, therefore, that the already dense population of this city would increase by almost 1.7%. They would also inherit a new US air base that is a mere 25-minute leisurely walk from the Basilica Palladiana, which sits in the heart of the city. In the photo below, which was taken from Monte Berico on the south side of town just above the train station on a very rare day when you can clearly see the Alps, the Basilica Palladiana is the building in the bottom right-hand corner with the large green roof, while Dal Molin is the runway in the one large patch of green in the middle. Expanding the airport here, then, would be far worse than building a major military airbase one and half miles from the most historic piece of real estate in the US. As such it represents a serious callousness on the part of the US to local conditions and thus to justice itself."


Will those who care about beauty and culture in our world stand for this?

Will we stand for the expansion of the U.S. empire in other towns and cities around the world that each have their own beauty

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Globetrotter: The Geopolitics Behind Spiraling Gas And Electricity Prices In Europe
The current crisis of spiraling gas prices in Europe, coupled with a cold snap in the region, highlights the fact that the transition to green energy in any part of the world is not going to be easy. The high gas prices in Europe also bring to the forefront the complexity involved in transitioning to clean energy sources... More>>

Julian Assange: A Thousand Days In Belmarsh
Julian Assange has now been in the maximum-security facilities of Belmarsh prison for over 1,000 days. On the occasion of his 1,000th day of imprisonment, campaigners, supporters and kindred spirits gathered to show their support, indignation and solidarity at this political detention most foul... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Mauling Of Novak Djokovic
Rarely can the treatment of a grand sporting figure by officialdom have caused such consternation. Novak Djokovic, the tennis World Number One, has always had a tendency to get under skin and constitution, creating a large following of admirers and detractors. But his current treatment by Australian authorities, and his subsequent detention as an unlawful arrival despite being granted a visa to participate in the Australian Open, had the hallmarks of oppression and incompetent vulgarity... More>>


Off To The Supreme Court: Assange’s Appeal Continues

With December’s High Court decision to overturn the lower court ruling against the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, lawyers of the WikiLeaks founder immediately got busy... More>>


Forbidden Parties: Boris Johnson’s Law On Illegal Covid Gatherings

It was meant to be time to reflect. The eager arms of a new pandemic were enfolding a society with asphyxiating, lethal effect. Public health authorities advocated various measures: social distancing, limited contact between family and friends, limited mobility. No grand booze-ups. No large parties. No bonking, except within dispensations of intimacy and various “bubble” arrangements. Certainly, no orgies... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Question Time Is Anything But
The focus placed on the first couple of Question Time exchanges between the new leader of the National Party and the Prime Minister will have seemed excessive to many but the most seasoned Parliamentary observers. Most people, especially those outside the Wellington beltway, imagine Question Time is exactly what it sounds... More>>