Italians (or at least a few senile old priests and media hacks) seem positively delighted by the level of bowing and scraping their complaints of vandalism against some irreverent Japanese students have elicited; so delighted in fact that when the girls visited (out of their own pockets, or least those of their parents) the historic cathedral they scrawled graffiti on to grovel and shed tears of repentance, they were greeted with open arms and praise for their courtesy and manners, and subsequently made into peace ambassadors.
The Japanese media can’t understand why the Italians are so blasé about the whole affair – evidently they haven’t visited too many European monuments recently.
Nobody really wants to spoil such a choice story of pagan barbarism ameliorated by Confucian virtue and Christian forgiveness it seems, but after the initial news broke there were some photos taken years before showing similarly scrawled vandalism in a dozen languages on the walls of the very same structure; perhaps, being part of the glorious history of European history of pillage, this does not bear mention… or at least nobody could browbeat them into apologising.
A profitable piece of theatre for all concerned it would seem. Via FNN.