"If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun." - Katharine Hepburn
Question #79401 posted on 10/08/2014 3:16 p.m.
Q:

dear 100 board,

You know how many statues and façades have a netting or mesh covering them? I'm assuming that's to keep out the pigeons and their po*p (if I'm wrong feel free to just ignore this question).

So, I kind of feel like the netting takes away from the aesthetics of these objects so I am curious:

1) Were these monuments always covered in netting and they always just looked kind of ugly?
2) If not, did they not have a problem with pigeon po*p back in the day?
3) Was there not a problem with pigeon po*p because there were fewer pigeons?
4) Or were there the same amount of pigeons and people just didn't mind po*p covered monuments?
5) Or perhaps it was some peasant's job to clean up the po*p and now no one wants such a job?

Thanks.

- bismark

A:

Dear that bismark?

First of all, it's OK to write "poop" on the internet.  Say it out loud, even. Poop. Say it again. Poop. I doubt you'll take my suggestion, so if you still feel scandalized and can't write it, pick a scientific word like "feces," "scat," or "droppings" that is often chosen to help scientists write about silly things seriously. Poop.

As for your questions: It's not just pigeons pooping on popular monuments that city planners are worried about, but pigeons building nesting sites and then festooning them with feces over a long period of time. Pigeon spikes are often used to deter our fine-feathered friends from roosting, but it sometimes happens that statues and such are too complex and intricately carved for spikes to be used effectively without really detracting from how they look. As for your actual questions:

1)Some monuments were probably covered in netting, some were probably covered after their construction. There's no mysterious International Pigeon Banishment Society overseeing the process.
2) When the generations-old statue of your village's Great Humdinger is various shades of lumpy white and gray, you have two options: Go climb up there and chisel it off at great risk to life, limb and dignity, or pretend it's always been that way and go about your day.
3) Since the natural habitat of the rock pigeon (cliffs) has not expanded much but their adopted habitats (cities) have enormously, I'm going to go with pigeon populations rising in correlation to the fantastic, protected real estate humans are so determined to build them.
4) See number three.
5) As previously stated.

Does netting take away from the aesthetic of a facade or statue? Perhaps, but no one wants a guano mine in the town square. You might have the makings of a war on your hands.

--Ardilla Feroz