Friday, October 7, 2011
And then there were ten
Since we first reported on the Temple de la Sagesse Suprême, more widely known as the "Illuminati Pyramid of Blagnac", back in April 2009, vandals both official and unofficial have attacked it.
We noticed the first incident in February 2010. At one time there had been a multi-colored mosaic map of the world on the floor of the fountain's basin. As of February, however, this mosaic had been covered over with white paint. Our guess is that the mosaic was leaking and thus destabilizing the mound upon which the monument sits. This official vandalism is a pity; the artist's vision was subverted and the weird idea of having a complex design element not many people actually see was appealing to us. But alas, the map is gone and the water, once clear, is a murky green.
The second incident took place sometime before July 2010. In front of the monument, two bronze "tablets" depict the cosmos and a reproduction of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. We wondered then if the missing piece was an act of vandalism or if the panel had been taken away for repair. It hasn't been returned yet, so we suppose the former.
These tablets are actually composed of 12 panels. The removal of one of them, leaving 11, caused one local "intellectual" to claim that this symbolism was intended to subvert the Ten Commandments and was a potent Masonic symbol. This is a good lesson in the danger of forming a theory without a hint of research. There were originally 12 panels. The number 11 in this case could therefore not be intentional.
In April 2011 someone tagged the monument with red spray paint. Ho-hum.
Now, the tablets have again come under attack. Another panel of the tablets has been removed, leaving 10 (We wonder when another commentator will tell us what this number symbolism means). It's quite a nasty-looking wound. Odd thing is, the panel is still there, lying on the ground before the monument. I was sorely tempted to pick it up and walk away with it, but that conflicts with my support of public art; besides, I'm certain I'd be caught on camera. Not the kind of portrait anyone wants.
Pretty irresponsible of Blagnac, though. They should scoop that thing up and rivet it back into place posthaste. That or store it away until someone less scrupulous (or braver) than I comes along and sells it off for scrap or turns it into a decorative object.
So, wear and tear, neglect or vandalism? Still can't say for sure. The Temple sure is taking a beating though. I'm certain that when the time comes and we've degenerated into Mad Max-like conditions, this monument will go the way of so many religious statues and architecture during the Revolution it's meant to celebrate.
People hate this "sinister" thing.
In a post long ago I linked to some PDF versions of articles about this monument, but they've since been removed. Luckily I snagged them and put them in Google Docs. Follow this link to see them; don't hesitate to let me know if it doesn't work for some reason.