I was delighted to read in my Sunday newspaper that a number of world cultural figures are grouping together to call upon the Venetian authorities to pull down the vast advertising hoardings that currently disfigure so many of its beautiful ancient buildings. The illustration here sums it all up. In aesthetic terms, it is just ghastly. As one conservationist put it, ‘No company sponsoring a concert would get its jingles played in the middle of a Mozart symphony.’ It is not only cheating the tourist (nothing can quite describe the shock of seeing so many familar scenes so grotesquely defaced). What sort of message does it give young people? Come on, Serenissima!