ROME — Rome city council took down a giant white papier-mache Christmas tree Tuesday, just one day after putting it up on a main square, following a storm of protests, officials said.
“I don’t like it,” mayor Gianni Alemanno said of the conical structure more reminiscent of the Egyptian obelisks that adorn the Eternal City’s many historic squares than of the traditional symbol of the Christmas holiday.
The tree was set up on Piazza Venezia, next to the Roman Forum.
“I have to admit I don’t like it and I’ve asked for it to be replaced by a normal tree,” Alemanno said, blaming a subcontractor in charge of decorations.
Stefano Pedica, a senator from the Italy of Values party, said: “The tree on Piazza Venezia is the epitome of bad taste.”
Rome city council was criticised this year after it put up a statue of the late pope John Paul II in front of the main railway station that one observer said looked like a giant bronze sentry box.