A visit to Belgrade in the middle of October would have surprised some people, as the heart of the city center, Knez Mihailova, for instance, was already adorned with some Christmas lights and decoration, though months away from the holiday season. Perhaps that was already a premonition that there were more surprises along the way for the people of Belgrade. As it turns out, there were.
Once the surprise has arrived, an artificial Christmas tree, word got out that it was worth a deal of 83,000 euros. Reactions from people have followed quickly, as, given the salty agreement, the 18-meter-tall tree did not look particularly spectacular. For many people, hearing out such news has not been the most pleasant.
Outrage as the artificial Christmas tree in the centre of Belgrade was contracted to cost 83,000 euros – making it one of the most expensive in the world https://t.co/pkDj7PRDK9 pic.twitter.com/6vmqduOsSj
— AFP news agency (@AFP) December 23, 2017
Things have further culminated after Belgrade’s mayor, Sinisa Mali has stated that the city is to cancel the deal, following news release by a Serbian website that the plastic tree had cost a lot more than the winning Norway spruce installed in front of New York ’s Rockefeller Center. While the poor-looking Belgrade tree hits record 83,000 euros, the costs for its lavish counterpart in New York has been a little under 62,000 euros. “I was surprised by those numbers,” has stated the mayor.
According to the contract, now alleged to be put to halt, the Serbian tree came from a company called Keep Light, which has controversially won tenders to install New Year decorations all over Belgrade not only in 2017 but also previously in 2016.
— euronews (@euronews) December 27, 2017
And while the Belgrade’s tree has been now dubbed as “one of the most expensive in the world,” people of Belgrade are not alone amid controversies surrounding probably the most important decoration a city can have for Christmas. The people of Rome have been unhappy, with what they got for quite a lucrative deal too. Their tree has been dubbed as the “world’s saddest Christmas tree,” and people have likened it to a toilet brush or a plucked chicken. The tree was transported from South Tyrol, and it has managed to die out days before Christmas.
For many Italians, the dead tree has represented nothing but an embarrassment for the capital, and has further been described as “a shameful spectacle for citizens and tourists.” Others have also said that the dead tree is a symbol of the city’s decay. The Rome city hall has stated that there are no plans for removal of the tree, while others have even defended the tree’s distressed look, that it is simply decorated in a “simple and refined” fashion.
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