06 JUN 2017: There is a town in Switzerland that I am to understand is so visually exquisite, that the mayor has told visitors not to take pictures of it; for the sake of those who have not seen its beauty. Seems that, in the ultimate display of thoughtfulness the Mayor of Bergün/Bravuogn thinks photos that show up of his town on social media will make other people miserable. Best that we don’t know what we are missing.  

The alpine village of Bergün/Bravuogn in the Swiss Alps is on the route of the UNESCO-recognized Rhaetian Railway. This place does not only have picturesque mountains, apparently the architecture in the historical town is beautiful too.

Last Monday the city passed a vote (46 to 2) to impose a $5 fine on tourists who take pictures of the landscape or village buildings; a decision supported by Mayor Peter Nicolaya.

A statement was released, saying “It is scientifically proven that beautiful holiday photos on social media make the viewer unhappy because they cannot be there themselves.”

No one really expects to enforce this ruling though. After all, even the townspeople are aware that Bergün/Bravuogn is too gosh darn pretty to ignore with a lens.

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Meanwhile another beauty battle is going on in the UK.

This year is the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen and the Bank of England will be releasing polymer £10 notes with the beloved author’s image on it, but people feel that the picture of Austen is too pretty.

There are two known images of Jane Austen; a drawing of a young woman with a stern face made by the author’s sister Cassandra, and another more complimentary one commissioned after her death. The bank of England opted for the latter.

Some citizens of the UK think that the real portrait made when she was alive is the image that should have been used and are sharing their dissatisfaction on social media.

The new note will be on display on July 18 at Winchester Cathedral where the author of Pride and Prejudice was buried in 1817.

Photographs are welcome.

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Pam Stellini

Pam Stellini delivers her original spin on alternate Tuesdays in her column Without Reservations. (Formerly titled, Notes from A Broad)

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