The Mafia Dons & Culture


Florence still feels handworked, like burnished gold, and an astonishment of deeply human masterpieces.  The jewel box is also beset, overrun by tourists, but who can blame them – we dropped in, mother-daughter duo, for a quick day and a half.  We were under the umbrella (it rained) of centuries of wealth, but the stand-out banking family and political dynasty, the Medicis, have always intrigued.  As a young art history student, I asked if Cosimo, Piero and Lorenzo’s ruthless capitalism was worth the price for the brilliant Renaissance art they fostered – Fra Lippi, Botticelli, Massacio. I said yes.  Vita brevis, ars longa.   

History has always had rapacious capitalist mafia powerbroker in office – we have ours now.  The difference is ours doesn’t have a shred of civic minded humanism.  Our billionaire ego-in-chief can’t compartmentalize and rise above, even for a short time.  What if he could be a patron of real culture, not cheesy ersatz stuff.  Narcissism has always been a part of patronage; ego and power are part of the deal; real leaders see beyond to the bigger picture.  

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3 Responses to The Mafia Dons & Culture

  1. Tom D'Evelyn says:

    And who is more beautiful? The art or one’s fellow pilgrim?

  2. Tom D'Evelyn says:

    And is there anything more beautiful than your fellow pilgrims?

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