I am not a big fan of zoos – not even Madagascar could convince me that animals are happy in captivity, no matter that they are fed and looked after. It is probably that whole Disney anthromorphical thing but to me creatures just don’t look happy in zoos. The zoo at the Villa Borghese – our great city park – has been renamed Il Bioparc and retooled from a zoo of cages to a biological garden of natural habitat enclosures primarily housing endangered species and injured animals.
Of course being Roma the entrance has to have a certain grandeur if not the out and out air of the grandiose.
|The baroque entrance ways are typical columns, vine-entwined capitals and marble balustrades replete with stucco elephants and draperies.
The elephants on the cartouche are certainly not of the Disney variety. In fact this one looks mighty perturbed – perhaps at the thought of captivity.
And I’m not sure that mythological heroes slaying creatures great and small is quite the message a modern
zoo bioparc wants to convey. But then I’m prejudiced – I’ve never really liked zoos.
27 gennaio – Sant’ Angela Merici