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I had an interesting meeting this week. Looking at the examples of home decor, one man, the head of the family home, said that one of them smelled naphthalene, looks like stuck in time. Every opinion is an opinion. It was the simplest classic decor, but young people no longer appreciate it.

And then I thought, yes, I’m really vintage and naphthalene, although I decorated my home in modern classicism because I love living here and now. And the 21st Century and its progress (or regress – it depends how you look at it) do not frighten or annoy. 

But I also like what was in the past. I like old stuff, old movies, old people. Because they have something to tell. It’s a pity that they don’t always want, or want to, but don’t have listeners.

Traveling I visit antiques, flea stores, dusty bookstores or second-hand shops. I delve, I’m interested, I choose, I look. And I’m talking to people of indefinite age working there, who are so naphthalene-smelling, people from the past. 

Recently, I discovered a Murano glass ashtray of divine beauty made in the ’70s and found that this street was once just an antique boutique.

“How Venice is changing, unfortunately,” I said the banal words. The salesman replied, “The world is changing, madam. Only we, the weird dinosaurs, remain. For the time being.” I also met Giorgio, whose second hand contained everything from old Venetian engravings to books and furniture to single cups that survived all the moves and scandals.

 © Fortune, 2009

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