In financially pinched Europe, billboards mar architectural treasures
Two years into its financial crisis, Europe "is facing a cultural calamity for which there is no emergency bailout fund," The Washington Post reports. Billboards have been stretched across parts of historic facades, sometimes on scaffolding, like the ad shown above on the Milan cathedral known as the Duomo. Revenue from the signs helps pay for needed building repairs. Some magnificent structures, like the 17th-century Palazo Manfrin in Venice, are being offered for sale. Citizens groups have filed lawsuits to stop officials from carrying out some of the transactions. Because of European currency and economic problems, governments are simply less able to spend money preserving their architectural legacy.
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