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Neapolitan Christmas tree. Now you see it, now you don't PDF Print E-mail
Dec 13, 2009 at 08:24 PM
For the seventh time in 10 years someone has stolen or damaged the official Christmas tree that for the last 26 years has been erected each year in Naples' Galleria Umberto, a major city landmark. This year the tree - over six meters tall - was stolen from its vase on December 10th and found the same afternoon in the Quartieri Spagnoli, the Spanish Quarter, the poor, crowded central area of narrow winding streets that is considered to be largely under the control of local criminals.

The tradition is for people to hang pieces of papers with their wishes on the tree but since 1999 the tree has repeatedly come under attack.
Police believe this year's theft, like previous thefts and attempts at sabotage, is designed to prove to the authorities how powerful the criminals are, but it could also be people who are acting on a dare.

The same thing happened in 2000 and in 2002, when the tree was found in the downtown historical center. In 2005, it was broken in half by unknown persons who were unable to extract it from a protective scaffolding. In 2007 it was knocked over and burned. In 2008 it was knocked over. Two other attempts to steal or damage the tree were thwarted in 1999 and 2004. That year there must have been a watchman on duty. And why not have one every year? Or do the authorities want to make it a "steal" to steal the tree?

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2009

 

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2007

 

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The way it should be
 

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