I spotted this image on Brian Micklethwait’s (new) blog – a photo he describes thus:
I mentioned the relatively recent phenomenon of buildings covered in scaffolding, and the scaffolding then being covered with a picture of the building.
Last night, I came across an example of this in the photo-archives, dating from 2013
And here it is:
This isn’t something that I’ve seen much (any?) of in South Africa. It could be that I haven’t been in the right place at the right time, of course. Or it could be that we just don’t do that when historic buildings are being repaired.
Norway, though – definitely. I remember being fooled (from a distance at least) when visiting Bryggen – the old wharf in Bergen – part of which was being renovated.
I mean, now you know it’s there, you can zoom in and have a closer look and yes, there is the temporary false facade. Bingo.
But if I’d shared this image without context, you’d surely never have known that two of those seventeen colourful buildings weren’t genuine.
Go closer (by walking around the harbour to the end of the row) and the requirements of sheer functionality make it rather more obvious:
Somewhere out there, there is a company (in fact, possibly more than one) that manufactures bespoke scaffolding covers like this. They’re probably the same ones who have been making the massive decorative tarpaulins that have been covering the empty seats in football stadiums during lockdown.
It does seem an awfully specific product though. Presumably, when we’re not in the middle of a pandemic or repairing historic buildings once every 100 years, there must be some other use for huge specifically-printed pieces of fabric.
But right now, I can’t think what that might be.