Saturday, December 15, 2012

Italian Hoopla in 2013

How else to describe the upcoming festival of all things Italian that will take place in 70 venues in 40 US cities except as a veritable pageantry of promotion?
But first, a timely segue from the Madagascar post (see below): that  both Italy and Madagascar have the same red, green and white colors in their national flags, blocks of each in different positions. (Italy vertical; Madagascar, horizontal). Otherwise, the civic and cultural traditions of the two countries could not be more different.
Back to the hoopla: '2013 - The Year of Italian Culture' had its announcement party December 12 at Washington's National Gallery of Art  with its splendid mascot - Michelangelo's David=Apollo statue in place in the West Building through March 3. The diminutive gold-hued marble piece is on loan from its home in Florence for only the second time in the museum's history. David up close is a 4 foot 7 inch piece of sinuous perfection that has a mysterious history not even NGA's chief European sculpture curator can fully explain.
And as if to underscore the range of activities promised in a variety of  (mainly) urban locations next year under the cultural year banner, a splendidly attired Italian man (in a stunningly beautiful blue velvet suit) walked among the preview crowd holding a hand-carved wooden Pinocchio figure. Ah, yes, there is a relationship to the David statue, he said: the texture, the quality of the material, the loving hands that carved them both. (The performer will be at the Kennedy Center in January.)

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