Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Sheer Heart Attack: A New Line of Public Art

Donkeys and elephants I got. Pandas I understood.

Even pigs (pork barrel politics), snakes (lobbyists) and leeches (lawyers) would make sense. But hearts?

Massive painted hearts are going up in Union Station and around the District and the first question you have to ask is: Why? Is there something especially coronary about Washington, I mean except for the heart attack you're likely to experience walking up a broken Metro escalator or while sitting in traffic on the Beltway?

But the hearts don't have anything to do with Washington. They're from Colombia, part of that country's "Discover Colombia Through Its Heart" tourism campaign. This, I suppose, is better than the old campaign: "Discover Colombia Through Your Nose."

My first objection to these hearts is aesthetic. They're too realistic. What's with those two little stems at the top? Are they the aorta and superior vena cava? It creeps me out just looking at them. I want to put the heart in a cooler full of ice and get it to Washington Hospital Center.

Then there's the whole appropriateness of them being here, clogging up our streets like so much cholesterol. Will we soon be tripping over Canadian maple leaves, Irish shamrocks, German beer steins, Australian kangaroos...?

Or maybe I just need to get a heart.


By John Kelly  |  September 4, 2009; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Photos of Washington  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: It Was 20 Years Ago Today: My Post Anniversary
Next: Photo Flashback: Coed Life, Circa 1942


I saw one of those yesterday in John Marshall Plaza (by the Canadian Embassy). I said "WTF!" (sort of).

Thanks for the info.

Posted by: Epigon | September 4, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

It is wrong for the city to put its imprimatur on this strange and unvetted project. Using pandas, etc. to market DC tourism is one thing. Is the Colombia tourism board paying for advertising space on the streets of DC? How anyone would discern they have to do with Colombia is a mystery.

Posted by: LTrixie | September 10, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company