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Vulgar Latin

A 31m-high, 106m-long panoramic painting of Rome in AD312? The world’s first reconstruction of a legendary 15m-high statue of Emperor Constantine? Having had the benefit of a Classical education, Astragal became alarmingly excited when a press release alerted him to these tempting titbits. But where should he head to sample these imperial delights? The Pantheon in Rome? The Baths of Caracalla? Erm no. A converted gas tank in Leipzig actually. Artist Yadegar Asisi, who is creating the installation in collaboration with the wonderfully named Konstantin-Ausstellungsgesellschaft mBH, says she has long been fascinated by Emperor Constatine, and asks: ‘What effect would the original statue have had on its viewers?’ Astragal hates to be a cynic, but would suggest that you are unlikely to find out by staging a reconstruction in a disused gasometer in the former East Germany. Facies non omnibus una nec diversa tamen, as Astragal’s old Latin master used to say.

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