In order to attract more tourists and increase visitors to the panoramic sites of the cathedral, by 2015 (the EXPO exhibition in Milan), the authorities plan to build an external elevator near one of the walls of the famous Milan Duomo.
The project, presented by La Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo (literally, “The Glorious Worker’s Institution of the Cathedral of Milan”), which is dedicated to supporting and restoring the cathedral, caused a great deal of controversy and discussion among Milanese. To get to the observation deck, many tourists (and there are about 700 thousand a year) should climb the stairs from 201 steps or use the internal elevator (by the way, quite fast). That is, to climb the top of the Duomo today is possible without any problems.
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So why add an external elevator, even light and transparent? Proponents of the project argue that such a decision will increase the attractiveness of the cathedral, which, judging by the regular statements of the administration, urgently needs additional funds to ensure the proper level of operation and management. Of course, the project has both its pros and cons.Find a hotel near the Duomo Cathedral
Let's start with the pros. Firstly, the external elevator undoubtedly attracts tourists, providing a vivid impression of the views that are already during the ascent. Secondly, the transparent elevator will be a lightweight structure that does not violate the panorama that opens from the roof. Thirdly, it will not be rigidly mounted in the wall of the cathedral, and therefore, if necessary, after 2015 it can be easily disassembled. By the way, this is one of the main arguments in favor of installing the design. Finally, the external elevator is a trace of modernity, a concession that the Duomo makes to our time. After all, the whole history of the Milan Cathedral is a history of "compromises" and "concessions" to the spirit of the times. Given that the construction of the Duomo began in the 1300s, and ended at the behest of Napoleon in the early 1800s, the final appearance of the building does not coincide with the idea of the first architects and carries architectural features of all five centuries of its construction. So this is a very tolerant and "flexible" cathedral.
But let us also mention the disadvantages of the project. The main argument of opponents of installing an external elevator is the assertion that in this way a cursory, superficial inspection of the Milan Duomo is encouraged: a staircase or an old elevator at least creates a feeling of "overcoming obstacles".
It seems more likely that the elevator will be installed in order to maximize the income from the cathedral, rather than popularize it.
Of course, for the maintenance of the Duomo requires resources that just the same new elevator should provide. However, the project developers should provide specific figures: how much more people will be able to climb the roof per year compared with the current 700 thousand, what is the expected income they will bring?