“Young woman bathes completely naked in the fountain in Piazza Colonna”. So, in a nutshell, since this is the crude fact, Rome in the world today is told, shown between irony and sarcasm, and perhaps even mocked. A bad postcard that we would never want to be sent from our capital.
And we would not want that, with the approach of “free everyone” from masks and curfews, we would return to having to record episodes of flagrant incivility, precisely from diving into the fountains to fights in the nights of the rowdy, noisy nightlife. In short, from the wild boars scratching around in front of the sculpture by Arnaldo Pomodoro, which dominates in front of the Farnesina, to the seagulls that swallow whole mice at Ponte Milvio, to the streets that, due to a downpour, turn into flooding rivers: the capital lives and suffers from a an image that dirties it, creases it in front of those who want to visit it to appreciate its priceless beauties.
The bathroom under the windows of Prime Minister Mario Draghi, beyond the intentions of those who performed it, signals the need for an urgent awakening of rigor: wallowing in the water for ten minutes, playing with dives and dance steps in a area cordoned off and therefore virtually inaccessible and being invited calmly by two agents to get it over with, to get out of that exhibition without veils to get dressed.
No one, before the dives and splashes, seems to have seen the girl and rushed to stop her, to make the order to stop and get dressed peremptory. No, everything took place as if a movie were being shot, in a studio and not in the heart of the capital. And it does not matter if it turns out that the young woman is not in her head, that perhaps she has mental problems, that she is a bit “sirocc”: and God forbid.
Of course, one undresses everything, jeans, t-shirt, socks and shoes, dives into the tub in front of the government building to perform in front of the incredulous passers-by, so it is evident that something in her head is not working perfectly.
It cannot be an alibi, an excuse, a mitigating factor.
There is something to get angry because this gesture between the goliardic and reckless challenge, even if not vulgar in itself, offends the sensitivity of an entire people. This is not a question of morality and cheap moralism. Nobody is too scandalized by such a scene. That’s not the point. A city where you can banally challenge modesty, common sense, good taste and dive into the pool that adorns one of the most beautiful squares in the world passes by being distracted, almost absent, if it does not react firmly and even severely.
Then there is the aggravating circumstance of the place: the stunt, which lasted several minutes, had as its background Palazzo Chigi, seat of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the home-office of the prime minister. A place that should be heavily guarded is exposed to all kinds of unforeseen events.
These episodes have within them the virus of the contagion of the sensational, sensational gesture: playing with bans cannot become a sport for performance ultras.
A city like Rome, which rests its planetary attraction on the prestige of its millenary history, cannot allow postcards to be sent to the world that scratch its splendor, prestige and even decorum. The list of transgressions, even on the occasion of sporting events degenerated as a result of raids by rowdy and barbaric supporters is now long and the promises of the authorities to produce impassable fences for the criminals have often gone towards bitter disappointments.
The post-Covid season, in small steps, resumes its path and everyone’s hope is that it will come out soon and definitively: the strong call to return to live the city to reopen it to the whole world is decisive and does not allow distractions. This is a commitment to be made in front of Palazzo Chigi.
Sunday June 20, 2021, 12:05 am
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