“Am I or am I not the elected representative?!”

The Sunday Times – April 30, 2006:

THE archeologists could barely hide their excitement. Beneath the main square of Ecija, a small town in southern Spain, they had unearthed an astounding treasure trove of Roman history.

They discovered a well-preserved Roman forum, bath house, gymnasium and temple as well as dozens of private homes and hundreds of mosaics and statues — one of them considered to be among the finest found.

But now the bulldozers have moved in. The last vestiges of the lost city known as Colonia Augusta Firma Astigi — one of the great cities of the Roman world — have been destroyed to build an underground municipal car park.

Juan Wic, the mayor, who is responsible for the car park project, said he was happy to have kept one of his main election pledges. He said it was “essential for the commercial future of the square and city”.



  1. gquaglia says:

    Brought to you by the same country famous for the Spanish Inquistion, Mexico and caving in to terrorists. I’m not really surprised.

  2. Richard Crisp says:

    It is still hard for me to accept the complete disreguard for everything of any historical or cultural value just for the sake of a freaking dollar.(or in this case Euro)

  3. gquaglia says:

    Rich, remember your history. The Spanish Conquistidors did the same thing. Sweep in, destroy and kill everything, all in the name of Spain.

  4. JL says:

    Oh, come on gquaglia…

    I’m not spanish, but to pass judgment on a country like Spain based on the idiocy of this Juan Wic would be like to doing so to all of you americans based on the acts of George Bush.

    This is, indeed, a shame, but generalization is worse.

    BTW, the Spanish Conquistadores did what they did in the name of gold and land. And…. ¿when was the last time you checked the actions of the english, dutch or portuguese in their collonies during the same period of history and later?

  5. joshua says:

    The Spanish are no different than any other country when it comes to stupidity in goverment. The tourist dollars made from unearthing and opening this site to the world would have dwarfed anything a damn car park would bring. But that would have required looking ahead, something that is forbidden in a goverment offical, no matter where they are.

  6. John Wofford says:

    The Romans left their droppings all over Europe, why should this one be any different? Just because some Roman politician (the freakin’ paradigm for our modern ones!) excreted on a rock does not make that rock holy. Rome failed, and we know why, and their disease is now our disease, crooked politicians and all, and perhaps a parking lot and a flea market would be a fitting eulogy to the Roman legacy.

  7. AB CD says:

    Given a choice between having enough place to park and letting some other people have some artifacts to study, I’ll take the parking place.

  8. SN says:

    “Given a choice between… I’ll take the parking place.”

    Yeah, because studying it and then making the lot would have been impossible. Somehow. I guess.

    At first I thought this was merely a case of shortsighted greed. But there could something else at work. Maybe, like AB CD, the mayor has a mental condition wherein he thinks all choices have to be exclusive syllogisms. Even the possiblity that both options are available eludes them.

  9. Richard Crisp says:

    SN win the gold!

    So John if Rome and our system of governments suck(I realize you didn’t say this exactly but you did imply it) then what system do you ascribe to?

  10. joshua says:

    Your so right sn…….

    Those Roman *dumpings* can make a town very rich John……Bath, England just has one lousy Roman Bathouse, but it creates so many jobs and so much income for the city and it’s businesses that even Donald Trump would be impressed.

  11. Thomas says:

    > Yeah, because studying it and then making the lot
    > would have been impossible. Somehow. I guess

    So what are the cars doing while archeologists are digging out pottery with toothbrushes? The fact of the matter is that waiting would likely have been substantially more expensive. The Greeks have to deal with this problem regularly. You can’t dig five feet without finding something a couple of thousand years old. It would have been nice to find a compromise that would have allowed the excavation to continue while still getting the parking they needed but if that is not possible someone has to make the tough decision. At some point, you have deal with the problems of the present.

  12. meetsy says:

    Yeah, when there is OLD crap everywhere, it’s so easy to become jaded.

  13. joshua says:

    The cars are doing what they always did before the garge is built. This is a smallish village full of 400 and 500 year old churchs and other late nmiddle ages palaces and homes….it’s a friggin town full of history….but nothing from the Roman period. The garage is to be built under the main square.
    Maybe they should do what many Spanish villages like it do….ban cars from the city center.

  14. Me says:

    If you ban cars, it becomes a nice place to visit but no place fit for actually living. (Unless the ban actually says no cars but SUVs and trucks are welcome…)

  15. Jandungo says:

    So this doesn’t happen only in Portugal….

  16. Ascii King says:

    Yeah, you COULD turn it into a museum type archeological site and let tourists pay to come see it, but where would they park?

  17. joshua says:

    #17…..where most tourists park…..at home. Most tourists go to a place, especially in Europe by train or bus, cars are only rented if they plan to travel to the country side. When you have a rail system that can take you very quickly from Paris to Barcalona, why use a car.


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