Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Vanity Project

It’s in the Dictator Handbook that you must leave behind an extravagantly unaffordable and unnecessary vanity project. Ivory Coast President Félix Houphouët-Boigny has fulfilled that requirement.

In the village-turned-capital of Yamoussoukro, the world’s largest church stands towering above a lush sprawl of grazing cattle and ramshackle buildings. A copper cross gleams atop a massive dome, while underneath, a marble and granite plaza stretches over seven acres and could fit a crowd of 300,000. But despite its $300 million price tag and 18,000-person indoor capacity, the out-of-place classical Greco-Roman structure has remained mostly empty for the past 25 years.

No comments: