This morning’s New York Times has an article about historic preservation in Italy: because of a shortage of funding, municipalities are renting out public buildings as billboards. Advertising revenue finances restoration, but at the cost of destroying the character of the country’s piazzas and palaces.
Here’s what I saw a couple of weeks ago in Turin. The photo was taken on the main square in the center of town; the building is the Palazzo Madama, an architectural gem. Its facade is draped by fabric to cover up the restoration work being performed on it. But note the ad—not only its size, but who it’s for: Mediaset, the TV empire owned by Silvio Berlusconi.