Posts Tagged ‘Tourism’

A Design for Life

28 September 2009

By Kevin O’Sullivan

Kevin McCloud’s Grand Tour, Channel 4, Sunday 27 September 2009

Pantheon by PaniniConsider this. You’ve come up with a brilliant idea for a mini series on the British grand tourists who travelled through early modern Europe, the places they visited, the foods they tasted, the ideas they borrowed, the things they saw. The second of four instalments details the link between the reconstruction of London after the Great Fire and the architecture of early modern Florence and Rome. In the corners of these majestic cities it uncovers the influences borrowed by the architect Christopher Wren in the construction of St Paul’s Cathedral, the greatest monument to his elaborate and uncompleted plans to transform and rejuvenate a devastated London.

So far, so good, you might think.

But then you place your knowledgeable and articulate presenter (Kevin McCloud of the excellent Grand Designs) on the floor of the Medici Chapel in Florence and have him gaze up at the simple beauty of its Michelangelo-designed dome. McCloud utters something profound about the master’s craft, about this being architecture as power rather than architecture for the people. This is, he tells us, the place where ‘classical mythology meets dynasty, without the shoulder pads. Come to think of it, with the shoulder pads.’

And there it is: the slap in the face for the unsuspecting viewer, the reminder that this is diet history, history zero, history free, or whichever faddish description most tickles your fancy. But is it forgivable?

Just about. Read More

The sinking of the Irish tourist industry?

18 May 2009

By Lisa-Marie Griffith

As a tour guide I find it highly entertaining that the decline in the economy has encouraged so many people to discuss the importance of our tourism industry. Orna Mulcahy highlighted in the Irish Times how, throughout our boom period, we have taken tourists for granted. We can no longer afford to take or leave tourists and we must return to the Ireland of a thousand welcomes. ‘Tourist’ has become a dirty word. It conjures up images of 1950s Ireland when we the locals were forced to sing for their supper and people who would do anything for a dollar. This is not an accurate representation of the tourist industry in Ireland and we can use tourism in Ireland as proof that Ireland is a creative and resourceful nation. Read More