Saturday, 1 November 2008

A Potemkin Village in Amsterdam?


The construction of the North-South subway in Amsterdam is almost universally unpopular. It is exorbitantly expensive and is leaving chaos in its wake as it ploughs through the soggy mud on which this city is built. Houses have subsided; others have developed terrifying cracks in their walls. Even the mice and rats have been driven from their cellar dwellings and have ventured upstairs en masse, much to the horror of the human residents. Still the city council is putting a brave face on it, as is demonstrated by these photographs of real hedges attached to acres of steel fencing.

All in all, the futility of this gesture reminds me of a ‘Potemkin village’, one of those fake settlements created by Prince Grigori Potemkin as ‘window dressing’ to reassure Catherine the Great of her peasant subjects’ well-being.
Photo: Annie. Click to enlarge.

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