A few weeks ago when my friends Linda and Yves were here we headed down to the Foro Traiano and a exhibition by the renowned American photographer William Klein. Back in the 1956 Klein was a good friend of director Frederico Fellini and come to Roma to work on Nights of Cabiria. While in the Eternal City he photographed scenes from every day life in a city that was slowly emerging from the devastation of World War II. A city which had not yet been taken over by the automobile, whose families had yet to be scattered over the surface of both Italy and the World and where reconstruction had just begun. It is a fascinating record of so much that has disappeared in Roma.
In 1956 there was a fire in the Palazzo Apostolico and word quickly spread throughout the city. There were rumours that the Pope's life was in danger and crowds flocked to St. Peter's Square. Finally after a tense hour or two the Pope - Pius XII - appeared at the window and a roar of thanks rose up from the crowd to greet him. Klein caught both the ecstasy and the slightly comical flavour of the moment. (Remember that a left click will enlarge the photo in a new window.)
The 81 year old Klein came for the opening of the exhibition of 60 of his photographic memories of the Rome of the 50s. He recalled, "that Romans reacted to the camera much like New Yorkers. Everyone felt they deserved to be photographed, immortalized. No why or why me."
10 giugno - Santa Diana