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A Torre de Babel

"Asseguram os ímpios que o disparate é normal na Biblioteca e que o razoável (e mesmo a humilde e pura coerência) é quase milagrosa excepção."

Jorge Luís Borges, A Biblioteca de Babel



segunda-feira, outubro 10, 2005

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"Wallace and Gromit film cursed by a furry animal
By Simon de Bruxelles

EVEN the fertile imagination of Nick Park, the creator of Wallace and Gromit, would have difficulty making this up.

Posters for his new animated feature film Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit have been banned from the Isle of Portland, Dorset, because of a local superstition.

For more than 100 years the word ?rabbit? has been considered taboo and locals refer instead to ?underground mutton? or just ?furry things?.

The unofficial ban came to light when publicists wanted to put up posters as part of the marketing campaign for the new Wallace and Gromit film, to be released a week today.
Authorities on Portland, which is connected to the rest of Dorset by a causeway, warned that the advertisements should not appear there because they could offend local people.

The word rabbit is considered to be bad luck because the creatures? burrowing caused land slips in the quarries, which have made Portland stone famous around the world. It was used to build St Paul?s Cathedral as well as many other London landmarks. Quarry workers were so superstitious that if they saw a rabbit they would pack up and go home for the day.

The taboo was reinforced 100 years ago when a crane operator was killed when his vehicle tipped over as the ground gave way because of rabbit burrows.

Another reason that islanders do not use the word is that sailors used to consider that seeing rabbits before they set sail was unlucky.

The only poster for the film on Portland is on the road off the island and says only ?Something bunny is going on?, not mentioning the word ?rabbit?.

Tim Woodcock, the Mayor, said: ?There certainly is a feeling against the word rabbit, especially from the older residents.
?It is a local superstition but like any superstition, people take it seriously.?The nearest cinema that will show the Wallace and Gromit film is in the neighbouring town of Weymouth.

A spokesman from Aardman Animations, which produced the film, said: ?We understand that the word rabbit is not used in Portland and we are quite happy to respect local beliefs and not use the term in advertising for Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit, on the island.
?We?re therefore using a series of ads with the word ?bunny? instead ? keeping Portland rabbit-free. But we hope local residents will travel to Weymouth to see the film.?"


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