I live in a street where – about ten years ago, during a stifling hot August, between a Saturday and Sunday – an antenna cropped up overnight in the yard of a low building. With admirable skill the pylon was built in 24 hours, so that people saw it rising before their eyes, and wondered where it would stop. Before they built the Pirelli skyscraper, the statue of the Madonnina of the Duomo of Milan used to be the point of reference for the height of buildings in the city. Now even this giant antenna – which is located opposite the Children’s Hospital – has surpassed it. Like a huge Christmas tree, and despite the studies pointing to the dangers of electrosmog, it was then decked out with satellite dishes, relays and what have you. It would almost look nice, if it were not dangerous. Since those times – the fast-moving Eighties – Milan has been governed by a sequence of councils representing the centre-left, the League, and the centre-right, all parties being included (at least these notes of mine cannot be said to be politically incorrect), and regularly, before every election, there has been a procession of all the opposition forces of the moment, which shouted out against the dangerousness of the situation, the vicinity to the hospital, the interferences with the medical equipment, the cases of physical discomfort. Currently there is even a judicial decision which upholds the request of the citizens’ committee for the dismantling of the antenna, but nothing is happening in practice, while we are awaiting the delegations which in a few days, between a rally and a debate, will no doubt set up their show under the pylon. You may say this a private business, affecting possibly just a few blocks around the place where I live, but it is not so. We are approaching elections and, as usual, they are going to promise us all and everything. Let us make an effort to assess the reliability of those promises. Tourism is in need of careful consideration, and our choice has to favour those who – unlike the situation described – are going to really honour their commitments.
The street where I live
Di Antonio Caneva English translation Paola Pr, 2 Marzo 2001