Although the birth control mandate has been hotly debated and contested for its burden on taxpayers, Medicare has spent $872 million on penis pumps in the last five years alone. Viagra has also received $819 million and Cyalis more than $782 million. But you’ll never hear those numbers being debated anywhere.
Bulgari has offered €1.5m to restore the Spanish Steps in Rome in response to the Italian government’s appeal for help. Due to start in 2015, this private-public project coincides with the jewelry and luxury goods company’s 130th anniversary. Now owned by the LMVH group, Bulgari joins other private companies that have “adopted” Roman landmarks in recent years, including Tod’s that has pledged €25m to the Colosseum and Fendi, which is sponsoring a €2.1m restoration of the Trevi fountain. While welcome, these projects also raise questions about the “branding” of cultural patrimony
Moonrise over Esja, a winter afternoon in Reykjavík. December 2010.