My family and I just returned from a two-week trip to Israel, during which we spent a couple of days in the Tel Aviv area.
While we were there, we stopped by Dizengoff Square to see the Agam Fountain. The last time I saw it was in the summer of 1986, shortly after it was finished, and I have fond memories of it, so I was looking forward to seeing it again and showing it to the kids.
Boy, were we disappointed.
The fountain’s structure is faded and grimy. It spins much more slowly than it did in 1986, and the machinery groans and sqeaks continuously. Most of the lights ringing the fountain are burnt out and haven’t been replaced, and those that are still lit seem dimmer than they were before. The music that accompanies the fountain is barely audible — only one of the speakers is in use, it isn’t loud enough, and it doesn’t sound very good.
In short, it’s an embarrassment.
How could the Tel Aviv municipality let it fall into this state. how could the artist, Yaacov Agam, let it fall into this state? When the fountain was constructed,was a fund established to pay for its long-term upkeep?
If there were someone who cared enough to set up a “friends of the fountain” foundation or some such thing and to solicit donations to pay for its restoration and upkeep, I’d support it. I wonder if such a thing exists (I couldn’t find one on the Web).