Poverty Protest in front of Bucharest Parliament Daniel Mihailescu/Getty Images

Populismo para ricos

BUCAREST – Hace poco participé en Bucarest de una visita al Palacio del Parlamento, el mastodóntico edificio construido en los ochenta por orden del difunto dictador rumano Nicolae Ceauşescu, quien fue ejecutado antes de verlo terminado. La persona que oficiaba de guía enumeró una serie de estadísticas sorprendentes: tercer edificio más grande del mundo, 20 000 metros cuadrados de alfombras, un millón de metros cúbicos de mármol, 3500 toneladas de cristal. Las enormes escaleras de mármol tuvieron que reconstruirse varias veces para que coincidieran exactamente con los pasos del dictador (hombre de corta estatura).

Para levantar esta monstruosidad neoclásica, hubo que demoler un hermoso vecindario con iglesias, sinagogas y casas del siglo XVIII y desplazar a 40 000 personas. El proyecto, en el que trabajaron más de un millón de obreros día y noche sin parar, casi provocó la quiebra del Estado, mientras los súbditos de Ceauşescu a menudo carecían de calefacción y electricidad. El mantenimiento del palacio (que ahora alberga al parlamento rumano y un museo de arte, pero en un 70% está vacío) todavía cuesta más de seis millones de dólares al año.

El mastodonte de Ceauşescu es un monumento a la megalomanía. Pero no es único, a no ser por su tamaño (al que el presidente turco Recep Tayyip Erdoğan trató de hacerle la competencia con su nuevo palacio en Ankara). Es notable cómo cierta clase de megalómanos piensan todos igual, o al menos comparten un gusto similar en cuestiones arquitectónicas. Los planes de Hitler para la reconstrucción de Berlín mostraban el mismo gigantismo neoclásico. Y el interior del palacio de Bucarest (algo así como el estilo Luis XIV llevado al absurdo), es sólo una versión más extravagante de las mansiones de Donald Trump en Florida y Nueva York.

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