Monday, January 17, 2011

Statue Fondling

Here in Europe there is an unreported practice of statue fondling.  It can be most unsavory and unsettling at time.  For example, what is one to make of that when one visits a grave and sees someone fondling a statue of a nymph?  Does one avert one's eyes so as to not intrude upon an intimate moment, or does one scold this impudence?  After all, it's hard to understand that the nymph might have consented!  It's very hard to scold when the person in question is twice my age! 
Now in Firenze (Florence) there is a statue of a pig: Il Porcellino.  People on holiday are wont to pet its nose; supposedly because it makes the petter be able to return to this beautiful Renaissance city again.  I always make it a point to pet the pig.  Florence is so romantic, and it has  wonderful museums and churches.
But in Verona we find the setting of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliette.  The local community has the supposed balcony of Juliette; and there is a fine statue of Juliette in a garden.  Generations of men caress this statue in on her right breast so that the feature in question is highly polished.  They caress it for love: to get a lover.  Or maybe they carry on in a naughty fashion like so many people do on holiday when they are not around their parents, teachers, or priests! 

Their doing this is a reliable way to embarass the English and inhibited French girls like me.

1 comment:

  1. I've never heard of a case where the status consented to be fondled.