Saturday, September 12, 2015
Mayor of Venice Argues with Elton
The mayor of Venice has hit back at Sir Elton John after the British celebrity criticised his decision to remove from the lagoon city’s public libraries children’s books about same-sex parents.
On his Instagram account earlier this week, Sir Elton called Luigi Brugnaro “boorishly bigoted” and “stupid” for his decision to purge books such as “And Tango Makes Three”, about a penguin chick in New York’s Central Park Zoo which is brought up by two male penguins.
But the indignant mayor said if the British singer really cares about Venice then he should give money to help protect the city’s cultural treasures from gradual sinking and rising sea levels.
“Dear Elton, I challenge you to donate resources to save Venice,” the mayor wrote on his Twitter account. “You represent the arrogance of those who are rich and can do anything.”
In another tweet, he added: “I have no problem with homosexuals...and I have no fear of your insults.”
Explaining his decision to remove the books, he wrote: “In Venice we don’t want to risk creating confusion among three-year-olds.”
Mr Brugnaro, a successful businessman, announced the decision to get rid of the books about gay parenting shortly after he was elected in June as Venice’s new, centre-Right mayor.
The 49 titles had been bought and distributed by the previous, centre-Left administration.
Many Venetians expressed solidarity with their mayor on Wednesday. “Don’t back down a single millimetre, the silent majority is tired of being silent and is with you,” wrote one supporter on social media.
He accused the mayor of having “stupidly chosen to politicise children's books by banning titles that touch on same sex families living happily ever after.”
He told his 190,000 Instagram followers: “Beautiful Venice is indeed sinking, but not as fast as the boorishly bigoted Brugnaro.”
at 10:16 AM