Friday, September 17, 2010

Papal gifts

A news report on the BBC's Midlands Today ran regarding the making of a cross to present to the Pope when he arrives in Birmingham. A silver cross, plated in gold with garnet insets it was made to duplicate one found at the Staffordshire hoard.

Now the silver and the creation of the master moulds was donated, no word on the gold, the garnets or the final workings though. Now don't get me wrong it looks gorgeous, it's a fine piece of work, but does the Vatican really need yet another valuable 'trinket'?

I mean this isn't a present from the country, one head of state to another, it's a gift from Birmingham. Do we care if the Vatican remembers Birmingham kindly; has this visit generated any form of revenue for the city that we'd like to see again. Hmm I bet the hotels are packed out so there's that, but does it compensate the cost of organising the visit in the first place?

Couldn't we have just got him a plaque with "Thank you for visiting Birmingham please come again"? Perhaps a T-shirt? I mean delightful as the cross is it's hardly going to stand out in the Vatican collection is it?

Heh like Dumbledore in Harry Potter who always gets books when he wants socks I bet the Pope will be thinking "Oh great another cross, that's all I seem to get 'Oh the Pope's coming let's get him a cross'; I wish someone would do something original for once"


walkerno5 said...

Mischievously I'd have bought him "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins.

But then I do enjoy stirring up the religious.

FlipC said...

And there I was thinking that a Qur'an might be controversial. Hey I bet they could even Dawkins to sign it for him too.

Tav said...

I was in the Vatican last week. I can tell you if you are Catholic or religions don't visit the place. I saw an old crippled-over woman begging on the streets as a priest drove past in a top of the range black Mercedes Benz, chauffeur driven of course. It makes you sick to see so much wealth for with some much talk of good and still people suffering.

Tav said...

Sorry the image is still vivid in my mind and I cannot get my words out. The last sentence should read something like:

It made me sick to see so much wealth based on so much talk of goodwill and yet still people are suffering.

walkerno5 said...

I popped in to Birmingham on saturday (driving in past a banner on the Hagley Road which said "all religion is delusional") and went to the museum, where the cross was on display. A fantastic thing it was, and certainly allowed one to understand what the original, now squashed and broken in the same case, would have looked like back in the 8th century.

I have never heard so many German accents in Birmingham either - it seemed there were a lot of nuns and priests over from Germany for the trip.