Cardinals and Italian Locals Angered by McDonald’s Opening Near Vatican
Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) — A McDonald’s fast-food restaurant is setting up shop in a Vatican building near St. Peter’s Square, but Catholic Church cardinals and locals are not interested in Happy Meals.
Cardinal Elio Sgreccia told Italy’s La Repubblica daily it was a “perverse” decision for the Vatican’s real estate agency to rent space out to the Golden Arches for $30,000 a month. He added that the move flew in the face of the architectural traditions of the area that’s filled with historic squares.
Although Sgreccia does not live in the building, he said he was speaking for seven cardinals who were not pleased they would be living above a McDonald’s.
Local residents seem to agree with the cardinals. They are reportedly worried about preserving the cultural heritage of the area that is already swamped with tourists.
Italy’s first McDonald’s opened its doors in Piazza di Spagna in 1986. The fast-food restaurant’s opening was met with protesters who decried the “Americanization” of Italian culture.
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