Year 2015. As a consequence of the crippling financial crisis, with no end in sight, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain have banded together and formed the PIGS Economic and Cultural Alliance. One of the first cost-cutting initiatives implemented has been the construction of common embassy premises in the most important cities around the world. The inspiration comes from the complex that the Nordic countries built when they had to move from Bonn to Berlin, after the Berlin Wall fell. The Felleshus, which means “house for everyone” houses the five Nordic embassies and a common space for cultural events.
The design of all the PIGS diplomatic complexes has been crowdsourced to citizens from the four countries and the series has been called Case Study Embassies. Each facility is an architectural collage that includes a central atrium used as a meeting point and for cultural events involving any or all of the countries in the Alliance. Around this central space we find the different embassy pavilions that can be accessed from this central common area.
Embassies are now considered fundamental intruments of soft power so they are open to citizens and showcase culture from each country. Every embassy thus houses a small version of one important Portuguese, Italian, Greek or Spanish museum.
Embassy number 1 includes a mini Uffizi Gallery. This diplomatic complex includes Portuguese ceramic tile motifs, an enormous sculpture of Demosthenes that stands, like a De Chirico object on original albero (densely packed crushed yellow rock, used in bullrings), Carrara marble, and a sculpture by Spanish artist Joan Miró. Embassy number 2 has a mini New Acropolis Museum. The Ambassador is Ms. Betita Pelofrondoso Petropoulos Castiglioni.
Other embassies will have mini Prados, mini Calouste Gulbenkian, and other important art galleries or foundations.
Embassy number 3 is a hi-tech travelling embassy. This slick yacht carries diplomatic staff, resident artists and young business entrepreneurs from port to port, especially countries with no formal representation. It also houses a temporary exhition inside. This is ambassador Francesca Christopoulos Coutinho González giving a press conference before departing from the port of Genoa.
(Click on the collages to see them full-screen)