Rome turned on the lights of his traditional Christmas tree. The majestic installation was assembled as every year by the City Council in the venice square before the Altar of the Fatherland, in the heart of the Roman capital. The installation cost the local Executive some €200,000.
On this occasion, the fir tree is accompanied by a environmental messageso its lighting is powered by solar panels which were installed to its sides. The City Council’s measure arose as a way to save on high electricity bills and as a way to raise awareness among citizens.
However, as expected, these 45 square meters of panels were the subject of numerous critics who branded them as “anti aesthetic” Y ugly by the opposition parties to the Roman City Council.
For his part, he Democratic Party -to which belongs the Mayor Roberto Gualtieri– He defended his idea of feeding the 25-meter tree with solar energy and said that it is an example of sustainability.
“Putting them in plain sight was not necessary from a technical point of view, but the message is symbolic”, argued from the City Council, which also decided to place posters on the panels that read “We turn on sustainability” and defend that in this way “the Romans will have Christmas lights without energy costs”.
He also explained that the panels reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 70 kilos per day in the midst of the “delicate moment linked to the war in Ukraine.”
Many residents joined the critical voices who complained when they saw that the Municipality placed the two panels while it is almost impossible to get such facilities for homes. she backed them up Fabrizio Santori, a far-right League politician, who said: “I am receiving messages from people who have tried to install solar panels but have been blocked by the superintendency; then I see that the city can place two huge ones in Piazza Venezia and it seems like a joke”.
Also, the spokesman for the 5 Star Movement (M5S), Linda Meleo, noted that “there were other methods to power the tree with clean energy without putting the two panels on there which are objectively ugly.”
Meanwhile, the councilor of the civic list calendarFrancesco Carpano, also pointed out against the Campidoglio’s decision and assured: “We have calculated how much Energy consume the tree. It is the same as a microwave needs -approximately 4 kilowatt hours every day- assuming it stays on for 5 hours.” So, he concluded, that “if you need 45 square meters of panels for a Christmas tree, the message that is transmitted is that for the needs of an apartment you need a meadow.”
In the face of criticism, Aceathe company in charge of lighting the tree itself and that provided the panels explained that they were configured to not only feed the Christmas installation but also, guarantee the illumination of the street of the Corso and of other trees installed in the area from the center. In addition, according to the newspaper La Repubblicaafter the festivities, they will be “reused”.
Despite the explanations, Vittorio Sgarbithe famous and controversial art critic and Undersecretary of Culture in the government of Giorgia Meloni, defined the sustainable fir tree as “an exhibition of false environmentalism”.
“This is a Greta Thunberg idea,” he said, adding that the panels should not be placed in a “monumental square” when there were many alternatives.
This is not, however, the first time that the Christmas tree in Rome has raised controversy. In previous years, residents have complained about the sponsorship of a famous digital platform and even about the sad story of “Spelacchio”, the almost dry fir tree that was placed in 2017 before the Altar de La Patria and was the subject of thousands of jokes for their appearance.
(With information from EFE)
St. Petersburg canceled Christmas and New Year events to buy military equipment
From paganism to Christianity: what are the historical curiosities of the Christmas tree
Artificial or natural: which is the most sustainable Christmas tree?