Sunday, February 12, 2006
Wikipedia has the story behind the symbol of the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics, Torino's Mole Antonelliana. Don't tell the President of Iran, the King of Saudi Arabia, or any of the Danish Cartoon protesters, for they might turn against the Olympic movement next--construction of the Mole, intended as a synagogue, began in 1863, in celebration of the establishment of religious freedom in Turin. The tower is over 500 feet high, the tallest masonry building in the world at the time of construction. The project grew too expensive, and the Jewish community turned it over to the city of Turin. Today it is the Museum of Cinema. I went to the top almost a quarter of a century ago, when my film was shown at the Turin film festival, and it was the Museum of Italian Independence. Turin had been the center of the movement for Italian unification led by the Count de Cavour--the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed there in the Cariganano Palace on May 14, 1861.