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Stepping sideways in Zion Squareby michael • July 23 2008
City planning, Art, Municipal news
Zion Square has long been the estuary in which the different streams of Jerusalem's population swirled around - and crashed into - one another, a place shared by addled Breslover missionaries and glazed-over hilltop youth djembe enthusiasts, preening acid-washed arsim and bubbly Anglo seminary girls, earnest protesters of public policy and strident prophets of doom; Jews and Arabs, residents and tourists, bankers and street kids, police and thieves, all idling in the space between Banks HaPoalim and Leumi.
You see, a major Jewish philanthropist from Waco, Texas has chucked enough money (2 million dollars, to be precise) over to the Jerusalem Foundation and the Municipality that they agreed to let him rename Zion Square to Rapoport Plaza (after himself) and attach that same name to a massive art installation that would grace the square - an art installation whose design has been kept a strict secret from the public. The name change was thwarted last year due to an outcry by grassroots public interest group called "Lemallah" ("Upwards"), and now the very same group has somehow obtained an image of London sculptor Ron Arad's design for the new square sculpture. It turns out it was kept a secret for good reason.
2 million simoleons can buy you the right to restructure major city landmarks as you see fit, but as for good taste, well...her value is far above rubies.
The Jungle Gym of Og, anyone?
Images courtesy of Lemallah.
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