Expensive Tomatoes


There is a world-famous symbol in Pesaro (did you catch the echo of Anna Bronski’s words in the Mel Brooks movie To be or not to be: “he is world-famous in Poland”?).

The symbol of our town is – whether you like it or not – the Great Sphere (Sfera Grande) by Arnaldo Pomodoro, perhaps Italy’s most famous living sculptor. The work by Pomodoro is by the sea, in Piazzale della Libertà, and it has become the meeting point for us Pesaresi (see you tonight at the Ball – we, Pesaresi, being prosaic people never called it once the sphere: for us it’s simply the ball – ci vediamo alla palla).

Well, after a tour operator from Pesaro used the image of the Sfera Grande – besides other town symbols – in its commercial,  Arnaldo Pomodoro stepped forward asking for money (eur 30.000) claiming that the donation of his work to the Municipality of Pesaro did not include the rights to film its image, being the image of the Sfera Grande his own property, covered by copyright.

I do not know about what kind of agreements had been made between Mr Pomodoro and Pesaro Municipality when he gave the Sfera to our town. You see, I am a simple-minded person: I thought that presents were free.

It is as if I asked my aunt, whom I gave a home-made chocolate liquor for Christmas, to give me 10 cents (am not Pomodoro, I know, my quotations are pretty low on the market!)  each time somebody takes a picture of her sipping that liquor. Doesn’t make any sense. Does it?

But I guess that “some presents are more free than others” (“some animals are more equal than others?”)?

I wonder what would Mr Pomodoro do if he knew that in some post-cards you could buy in any tabaccheria in Pesaro until not too long ago, under the picture of the Ball there was the writing: Tomato’s Ball, being “tomato” in Italian, “pomodoro”. Oops! Would he suit the translator? Well, a wise choice in this case!


  1. fantastiche considerazioni…
    corro a distruggere tutte le foto (e sono tante) in cui appare l’innocente e fotogenica Tomato’s Ball.
    credo che il Sig. Pomodoro, con quest’ultimo atto, intenda vendicarsi di quella famigerata serie di cartoline.
    se ha chiesto 30 mila euro all’illustre e ricchissimo pesarese, spero sia più clemente con me e con l’altra manica di usurpatori.
    ps: pensate ai militarini, anche quelli dei 3 giorni, che lì davanti sostavano in drappelli…

    • Vogliamo fare una colletta per il Sig Pomodoro? ci vogliamo tutti costituire e fare pubblica ammenda per le foto scattate in gioventù mentre, magari, calpestavamo (pure) l’erbetta fresca del prato? oppure, gli mandiamo a casa una cassetta di sammarzano? Se chiede dei soldi, dopotutto, può darsi che non riesca ad arrivare a fine mese 🙂

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