Monday, May 4, 2009

Culla della Vita

This in no ordinary box in a wall. It might look somewhat like a sort of mailbox but it is very special. This box turns out to be a "crib". Yes, that's right! The city of Padua has set up a crib in a city wall for unwanted children to be left anonymously in a safe place where an alarm will alert nurses to pick up the child inside immediately and have it receive medical attention or whatever the little one needs as it begins its life as an abandoned baby. This nest comes with a heating system and video camera which shows the baby's status as soon as the box is opened.

This box reveals a dark side of motherhood: rejection of the role. It is a hard fact that babies are being left in random places all the time, especially near trash receptacles. Here the idea is that the mother can leave her child in a safe place and know that the child will immediately receive attention. My question is whether these mothers at the brink of "tossing" their children are honestly informed enough to know about the whereabouts for this "crib". Many desperate mothers do not read the newspapers regularly, where I heard about its existance. Part of me hopes this box never gets used since the idea of abandoning a helpless human is so awful to contemplate, but if the service is needed, I hope the right people are using it.

Padua has placed it at Via Ognissanti, 68. Padua is not the only city that has built these sanctuaries for abandoned babies.


  1. The label "curiosity" really says it all here, doesn't it? I mean, I like the idea, but it just looks so much like how they store dead bodies, no?

  2. Yes, it's like the Italian "highrise" graves with just a little rectagle in a wall dedicated to the deceased, but here the baby lays side-ways or parallel to the wall.