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Bridge of Strings fanfare despite it all

by ben June 26 2008
Bridge of StringsCity planningMunicipal newsNewsPhotographyThings to do

A bird's view of the Bridge of Strings

So many farces; so much optimism. That's the Jerusalem way. Last night marked the closing event in the celebrations over the "closing of 40 years" since Jerusalem was reunited. Even though the event took place over three weeks after Jerusalem Day. Even though Jerusalem has been reunited for 41 years. Even though the purpose was to dedicate a bridge whose construction is not complete and won't be used for its primary purpose (carrying the light rail system's electric trolleys) for about two years. Even though the whole project has been marred by several categories of criticism.

But Santiago Calatrava's Bridge of Strings was dedicated in a gala free celebration last night, an event that added half a million dollars to the project's already bloated $73 million budget (over twice the original planned expenditure), and VIPs and tens of thousands of revelers from across the land came to our city entrance square to check it out.

Splashes of color on the Bridge of Strings

Acrobatics and pyrotechnics on the Bridge of Strings

Aside from performances from contemporary popper David D'or, Broadway hazzanut crooner Dudu Fisher and local ensemble The Jerusalem Flower Choir, the famed Ra'anana Symphonette played a rousing set that accompanied aerial acrobatics, video projections on eight screens, splashes of multi-colored lights, pyrotechnics and hundreds of dancers (the women among them reportedly having been encouraged politely to wear long skirts and head coverings).

The production was named Hallelujah, an appropriate moniker for a show centered around a structure that has been likened to David's harp by its visionary.

Around here, "facts on the ground" make dreams come true, and perhaps the sight of the tallest spire in the Middle East will help to take our city's sense of aesthetics and ambition to new heights.

Jerusalemite's coverage of the Bridge of Strings continues next week.

Aerial photo of the bridge and its environs (top) by Sasson Tiram, courtesy of the Jerusalem Municipality; photos of last night's multimedia extravaganza courtesy of bdnegin under a creative commons license.

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