Monday, November 15, 2010

We say "YES!"

We do not always agree that Ed Swift's Historic Tours of America serves the city with historically accurate narratives and we feel that the "Old Jail" is one of the most prominent tourist traps in our city.

The addition of the Segal inspired contemporary sculptures by Monte Triz in front of the old jail is something that we can say is a positive and interesting addition. The local comments denouncing the works are to be expected in a small Southern community. City Commissioner and architect Don Crichlow said in a past Commission meeting that he did not want to see any "modern art" in St. Augustine.

St. Augustine is not Williamsberg or Jamestown, but a living city and has been for 445 years. The mayor and others want to create a faux Disney atmosphere with pirates (never were here, privateers, yes) and phony architecture. This brings in the dollars, but the gullible public leaves here without a sense of what the history of our town means to the whole scope of European settlement in the New World. Ghosts and pirates stories prevail and Historic Tours of America is guilty of spreading the misconceptions but these artworks are to be applauded as well done.

The hue and cry of the local wags will most likely cause them to be removed even though the installation is on private property. We'll see.

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