January 29, 2007

Chile Santiago paralysed by Giant Puppet

Santiago’s compact historic center was virtually paralyzed late Friday afternoon as hundreds of thousands of people fought for a chance to get a glimpse of the “Little Giant.” The puppet – brought to Chile by the French theater company Royal De Luxe for the Santiago A Mil theater festival – woke up Friday morning at Santiago’s Mercado Central and began a slow walk to the downtown Plaza de Armas.

The puppet received widespread TV coverage, and the crowds that took over Santiago’s streets to get a glimpse virtually shut the city down. Traffic was brought to a halt, and the situation at times appeared dangerous as no police or crowd control officers were in sight.

The historic pedestrian walkways including the Paseo Ahumada and Estado Street were completely saturated by the crowds and were basically un-navigable. Many people appeared trapped and complained that they had been unable to even catch a quick view of the puppet.

Those that were lucky enough see the puppet stroll through the city at some point, though, were thoroughly impressed. Watching the spectacle on TV, however, provided a far better opportunity to safely follow the action.

The “Little Giant” went to bed shortly after arriving at the Plaza de Armas, but she is expected to wake up early Saturday for her second day on the city, where she is hunting a metallic African rhinoceros.

The giant puppet will arise at 10:30am on Saturday, and will take her hunt for the Rhino to Santiago’s Museo de Bellas Artes. The puppet will arrive at the museum by 12:00 noon where she will take a short nap. The puppet will again wake at 5:30pm and will begin a march to the Constitution Plaza at the La Moneda Presidential Palace, where she will arrive at 7:40pm.

The Little Giant is expected to capture the rhino on Sunday and will arrive at the Plaza Italia at 5:00pm.

via [The Santiago Times]

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