Do you like Picasso’s work?
It is quite exceptional to see the work of a Spanish artist here in Puglia. My friend Habiba and I were lucky. It was a small exhibition though, just roughly thirty pieces of mainly pottery designed by Picasso, from the forties till the nineties.
We saw the exhibition “L’altra metà del ciello” in the Palazzo Ducal in Martina Franca. Built in 1668, this was once the palace of the Caracciolo family, the dukes who presided over the town’s glory days. Nowadays it houses the town hall, a library and Martina Franca’s tourist information office. It is beautiful inside, all painted walls with bible stories. The huge chandeliers gave it an enchanting feeling.
Do you know the perfect trick* to get into an exhibition for free? Well, we knew the exhibition would close at 1pm and were a little late. We arrived at the ticket office at 12:30 and the guy behind the counter just announces us that the cash register is closed. The museum was still open till 1 pm and would open again at 3 pm. I already knew from a friend that it was a small exhibition, doable in half an hour. So we couldn’t pay, and therefore couldn’t get in anymore.
Just before, when we were driving to Martina Franca, Habiba and I had discussed our disapproval of bureaucracy and how people working in public administration offices often misuse their power to counteract their frustration with their job.
Faced with bureaucracy in reality now, it was we who got frustrated. I tried my best Italian to tell the guy we were so much looking forward to this visit and that we couldn’t come back in the afternoon. We both switched to our most depressed look on our face and turned back to the entrance. “Aspetta!” he called out to us. He winced and told us to quickly sneak in to the museum, without paying.
I guess the guy -let’s call him Matteo- I guess Matteo was frustrated with bureaucracy himself.
Mille grazie Matteo, per la tua disobbedienza al sistema!
We still had a perfect lunch (a salad) on the piazza Roma, just in front of the Palazzo Ducale.
*Don’t try this yourself, Art and Culture needs to be cherished, and can use our support!