Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Melbourne Architectural Review

SO I’ve just flown back from marvelling at the Coliseum in Rome, Schoenbrun Palace in Vienna and the Duomo in Milan with its hundreds of extravagant spires, each topped with a statue.

Yep this is seriously how Andrew Bolt returns from his holidays. I too have also seen those same buildings and marvelled at the size, scope and complexity within the structures. But, sadly I do not recall hundreds of spires at Milan's duomo.

Bolt is trying to comment on why Melbourne does not have Architectural wonders to draw tourists. Without dismissing the argument lets look at the statistics relating to tourist activities in Australia:

What Bolt forgets in his reasoning is that Australia's tourism drawcard does not rely on buildings (other than say the Sydney Opera House). It utilises Australia's natural assets and culture. Keri on her blog covers the discussion about culture and soul of a city.

The fact that Melbourne does not need to rely on buildings or gimmicks to attract tourists is a credit to the people and the place. This is something Bolt forgets. If tourists want to see historic buildings why would they bother flying from the UK to Australia when they can see the three buildings listed by travelling a fraction of the distance?

SO what of the three buildings Andrew listed as highlights of his European tour:

Duomo of Milan: Started 1386, finished 1965
Colosseum of Rome: Started 72AD, completed 80AD
Schoenbrun Palace in Vienna: Started 1696, completed c1918

Does Bolt seriously think the government should spend such massive amounts of funds, time and effort on a building as a tourist attraction? Seriously? Take what is considered Australia's most iconic building the Sydney Opera House.

Originally quoted to cost $7 million and finally costing $102 million as well as taking 10 years longer than expected. I wonder what Bolt would say about a Government spending so much more money and time on a tourist attraction?

Bolt cries:

What’s with us? Why can’t we build a single thing to impress? To delight? To announce that we dare dream?

I say we have any number of things to impress. I say we do dare to dream. I say our city is a delight otherwise why would we live, grow and love here?


I see today that the Herald-Sun's own Mike Sheehan has had a go at Bolt ove rthe column. Sure he is mainly commenting relating to the MCG but he has some valid comments on the theme.


Frisky Librarian said...

Hear, hear! What an effing tosser. I nearly choked when I read the bit where he said that Melbourne's greatness lies not in the city centre but in the suburban streets! What the? Has he BEEN to the suburbs?

This kind of Melbourne-bashing really gets my goat. We might not have anything as iconic or grand as the Opera House, but Melbourne is well endowed with beautiful architecture. Bolty must walk around with his eyes shut.

I'm personally offended on Melbourne's behalf. There, there, Melbourne. Some of us still love you with all our hearts and we think you're stupendous just the way you are.

dam buster said...

FL - I was thinking of you when thinking about how he thinks Melbourne is heartless. Let Bolt take a stroll through Melbourne's many arcades and alleyways to find those little gems that make the city a suprise and delight.

We do not need a glossy shiny tourist drawcard.

Dr Floggmalogolo said...

What a nancy boy comment from dam buster. Someone with name like dam buster should say stuff like " Mens Gallery is a great Melbourne icon" what is wrong with you, you need to take a big flogg?

dam buster said...

Well well well the good doctor has decided to grace us with his pressence.

Dr - indeed the Mens Gallery is an icon. I have often seen you and your buddies entering there.

In fact that is where I believe you have undertaken most of your so called research into the woman's body at the said venue?

Oh and how is the sexual harassment case going?