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Santo Domingo “Christmas Tree-Eiffel Tower” will cost taxpayers RD$1,166,886.29

Santo Domingo West Mayor Francisco Peña’s “Christmas Tree-Eiffel Tower” will cost taxpayers RD$1,166,886.29, according to the Compras Dominicanas government website. The Mayor of Santo Domingo West purchased the smaller version of the Tour Eiffel that used to grace the entrance of the now closed Euroclub Disco at the Hotel Hispaniola. When at the original site, the structure went practically unnoticed.

The decision to locate the tower near the Plaza de la Bandera has created considerable controversy. The Dominican Republic Society of Artists opposes the site, saying it shows a lack of respect towards the Dominican flag plaza. Cultural institutions have submitted a legal bid against the location saying that it violates the cultural heritage law ruling in its Art 14 and 15 and Art. 64 of the Constitution on citizens’ right to culture.

Diario Libre reports that the installation and decoration of the replica of the Tour Eiffel at the corner of Av. 27 de Febrero and Av. Luperón, across from Plaza de la Bandera, is what has brought the total cost to RD$1.16 million. The mayor had said he purchased the used structure for RD$500,000. The works were contracted by Constructora José Manuel Tejeda on 21 October 2016 (ASDO-CP-NO.003-2016).

The tower was created for the discotheque by La Romana-based metalwork artist José Ignacio Morales (El Artístico) who said it originally cost more than RD$2 million.

In an interview with Diario Libre, Morales said he never imagined it would be placed in front of the Plaza de la Bandera. He believes there are better places for the tower. “It is a scaled-down replica of the original, in full detail,” said Morales. Morales added that he felt insulted that the tower, which was painstakingly built as a replica, is being decorated as a mere Christmas tree. He suggested finding a better location like a city park instead of the busy city intersection chosen by Mayor Peña. The replica is 50 feet tall, compared to the 1,063 feet of the real Paris landmark.

Diario Libre reports that the structure will not be permanent. The Santo Domingo West municipality’s culture department says that they chose the theme for the 2016 Christmas season because Paris is the city of love and Christmas is promoted as a time to express love. Next year they will choose another theme to be installed in the same place.

The installation of the Tour Eiffel replica has inspired many memes in social media, especially after Mayor Francisco Peña admitted he was “neither a historian nor an anthropologist” to know about the Tour Eiffel. On the positive side the mayor said that people who could not make it to Paris could now take their photos at Santo Domingo’s Tour Eiffel. Peña said that all he wanted was to have a structure to decorate and create an attractive Christmas tree to make people happy.

The precise date for the tree’s inauguration has not been announced, but is expected to take place between 5 and 10 December 2016.

Jumbo superstore has taken advantage of the buzz about the Santo Domingo Tour Eiffel to advertise a 20% discount on French wines and discounts on other French products. It is also promoting French fashions for sale in the store, including scarves and jackets in the red, blue and white colors of the French flag.

Source: DR1, DiarioLibre

Dec 3, 2016

Category: DR News |

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Last updated January 16, 2017 at 11:38 AM
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