Nov 072007


Today’s WSJ told about the new CCTV building now under construction in China. It will be the 2nd largest office building in the world, after the Pentagon.

I wonder if it will become a ubiquitous symbol of China. If so, that will be some interesting symbolism — a communications building as national symbol of a country that tries hard to restrict certain types of communication.


Another country with a ubiquitous building as national symbol is Russia. The Foreign Ministry Building is everywhere. This photo of it is from Wikipedia. It’s also in the standard intro scenes on Mosfilm DVDs:

Logo mosfilm

It’s shown on the background of some of RTR Planeta’s news broadcasts. Somewhere on my desk was a candy wrapper for one of the Red October brand of candies. It pictured the Foreign Ministry building. (The wrapper still may be on my desk, but I may never know for sure.) One sees it in movies whenever there’s an excuse to show it, such as in Tarkovsky’s graduation project, “Steamroller and Violin”.

It’s interesting that a country would use a foreign ministry building as such an important symbol. Here in the U.S. the State Department building gets no such status. For us, the U.S. Congress is more of a symbol.