Some Awesome People

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Abstract Christmas tree sparks protests in Brussels

 30 November 2012

Brussels' controversial Christmas tree in action 

Thousands of people have signed a petition against an abstract light installation replacing the traditional Christmas tree in Brussels city centre.

More than 11,000 signatures have been gathered in the online petition and a Facebook page attacking the new feature has been launched.

Critics accuse officials of opting for the installation for fear of offending non-Christians, especially Muslims.

But the mayor's office said it was part of a theme this year of "light".

Traditionally, a 20m (65ft) pine tree taken from the forests of the Ardennes has adorned the city's central square, the Grand Place.

This year, it has been replaced with a 25m (82ft) construction, though smaller real Christmas trees still decorate the square, a spokesman at the mayor's office said.

The city's website said the new "tree" was one of five "light" installations around the Grand Place this year, offering visitors the chance to climb to the top and enjoy "beautiful views" of the city.

Tourism councillor Philippe Close at the mayor's office said the aim was to show off the "avant-garde character" of Brussels by blending the modern and the traditional, to produce something new and different.


'Offensive'

Brussels hosts one of the most popular winter markets in Europe and many are worried that the contemporary construction is incongruous with the 17th-Century buildings that surround it, the BBC's Maddy Savage reports from the city.

The light installation has even been nicknamed The Pharmacy by some who say the glowing cubes resemble the green cross symbol you find outside many chemists around the world.

Bianca Debaets, a Brussels councillor from the Christian Democratic and Flemish party, said she believed a "misplaced argument" over religious sensitivities had moved Brussels to put up the light sculpture.

"For a lot of people who are not Christians, the tree there is offensive to them," she told reporters. (...)


Full text: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20302574

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments make our day brighter! Please keep them pure and nice. :D