06/03: Potemkin Village

A quick walk in Washington DC tonight revealed an absurd sight with preparations taking place by the convention center for imminent demolition and construction.

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The two story structure is braced externally by steel, and the windows and doors are boarded up with plywood, plywood that has been pasted over with images of pristine wooden doors and shutters. A storefront around the corner has similar treatment.

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Last summer’s G8 Summit in Northern Ireland had a small controversy surrounding similar treatment of vacant storefronts covered with images of well stocked and bustling places of commerce. The label Potemkin Village refers to lore about a Russian general (Potemkin) embellishing conquered cities to further impress the conquest to Empress Catherine II.

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