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February 3, 2007 3:33 PM   Subscribe

Requiem for La Contessa: After she was set afire in December, three questions arose: who burned her, why, and what became of her figurehead? The first two have been answered, but the third remains a mystery despite the sculpture's brief appearance in a photo on tribe.net.
posted by fandango_matt (8 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's Request -- frimble

Self-link: A photo of the La Contessa and her figurehead. Note the man on the mast (in black and yellow) for scale.

Undoubtedly one of Burning Man's most iconic art cars. RIP.
posted by DaShiv at 4:10 PM on February 3, 2007

Wow. That Mike Stewart guys is a dick. His claims of trying to contact the owner are clearly bullshit.

I hope there are some mean-mother-fucker lawyers out there in the Burning Man community who would like nothing more than to sink their teeth into this asshole pro bono.
posted by Rusty Iron at 4:51 PM on February 3, 2007

'Twas indeed a beautiful night, and the best possible farewell for La Contessa (or rather, her lovely proxy, La Contessita) I could have imagined. From drunken sea shanties to a sober "Le Bateau Ivre", from the tiny black bunting to an unexpected chai, everything was perfect.

I was truly honored to help carry her down to the dark water, for a fate like adolescent sex: a few false starts, a little fumbling, and then, suddenly - fire and transcendence.

Pure poetry, made all the more memorable for the company of so many friends, each one ablaze with abundance, creativity and life. Then, walking back from land's end, the keening of a trumpet echoing off of a distant metal warehouse, and shadows cast by an almost-full moon in a sharp, clear sky.

Bon voyage La Contessa! We will sail on you forever.
posted by sfslim at 8:21 PM on February 3, 2007

Self Link: some videos from last night's wake, shot with a tiny digicam.
posted by rajbot at 9:10 PM on February 3, 2007

Being one of the lucky few (many?) that actually got to ride aboard this piece of art, I'd like to say this was a Goddamn shame.

Truly, it was a surreal experience to be aboard this thing at night. It was one of the (if not the) only major playa vehicles that wasn't covered in lights. It was like a ghost ship, coming out of the murk. It ran almost silently and could very easily sneak up on you.
posted by Parannoyed at 11:37 PM on February 3, 2007

As a landlord, we have some pretty strict abandoned-property rules we have to follow in Wisconsin. You have to explicitly take custody of something, give the owner 30 days' notice, and then make a best effort to sell it for its nominal value. If you don't you can be liable for the difference.

But it's even more difficult for an active tenancy. You'd have to give the incumbent tenant explicit notice of your intent to move a vehicle.

Now, none of this is criminal, but it's a very serious administrative violation and the property owners would have a clear, actionable civil claim.

What is California? Out west or something?
posted by dhartung at 2:05 AM on February 4, 2007

The arson happened in Nevada.
posted by rajbot at 10:48 AM on February 4, 2007

I didn't get to go on the La Contessa unfortunately and was most disappointed when it wasn't on the Playa this year (before the arson). There were some pretty significant substitutes but none came close to the scale and beauty of this thing.

The Stewart bloke just used any ol excuse to get rid of anything tainted with Burning Man and even though I'm a Brit and against the whole lawsuit culture - someone should sue his ass! Better still, make him have to donate his land to BM so that burners can leave their wonderful creations in safe hands.

Adding this as a fave so that I know who the MeFi burners are :)
posted by floanna at 12:10 PM on February 4, 2007

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