Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Empty Buildings and Blackshirts


I've never visited Southern Italy or Sicily, though I plan to one day. Of course, I love all the bits in the Godfather trilogy set there. And there was that episode in series two of The Sopranos.

This church would surely look quite the thing in a suburb of Naples, say. Though it's not really a church, more a building that was formerly a church. There's a grander, but essentially similair one on Omar Mukhtar Street in central Tripoli. That one's been turned into a Martial Arts club, of all things, so there are grunts and groans and exclamations where the mass bell once rang.

This one's disused entirely, it would seem, though perhaps it has some hidden purpose here and now. Storing posters of Colonel Mustard, perhaps? I'd go and have a nose around, but reminders of former religious freedoms are touchy here. Two colleagues spent a day confined in a police station after visiting a derelict Jewish cemetery last year.

Makes you think, though, how things must have once been here, in the 30s, say: the Fascist colonial dignitaries going to Mass of a Sunday, afore having a big lunch with lasagne and salad and chianti with their families and hangers on. I wonder what those bastards made of Zawia? And what the Zawians thought of them.