Friday, 2 November 2012
Not once in the 500 years since Michelangelo got down from the scaffolding having splashed his last drop of Dulux on the job has cricket been played in the Sistene Chapel. Its dimensions would make a decent indoor practice area with 3 lanes and adequate run ups. But not once have the Vatican authorities thought of hiring it out for such a purpose. Shame on them. No wonder the Reformation happened.
Now the opportunity may be lost for upward of 10,000 people traipse through it every day. And that leaves little room even for bowlers with the shortest of run ups to turn their arm.
Of those many visitors well over 9,000 are not looking at the majesty of Michelangelo's decoration, or indeed the works of the other artists which illuminate the walls. The majority are taking photographs. Photographs which will be in every respect poorer than any photos they will be able to buy in the souvenir shop or find in any guide book, or online. Tourism 21st Century style.
The same thing happens when visitors come to Carlton's world wide HQ at Grange Loan. FB admits that the decoration of the ceiling in the home dressing room isn't quite up to the standard of Michelangelo. Even then tourists' first instinct is to photograph the special place rather than savour the unique experience of being in that special place where FB (and many other greats of the game) have rubbed themselves down after a shower.
It will be some time before this great attraction gains the visitor numbers that the Sistene Chapel attracts. There is talk of the numbers being too great and the Vatican having to limit them in some way. Tourists should take comfort that there is no such risk of disappointment at Grange Loan where the ceilings can be viewed every weekend.