The €48,000 tree was labelled an international embarrassment after it was declared dead on its arrival.
ROME’S CHRISTMAS TREE, nicknamed “baldy” and ridiculed for its mangy, wilted branches, is being immortalised in the form of wooden furniture and souvenirs.
The Norway spruce is to be recycled into a wooden hut where mothers can breastfeed and children can play, Rome city council said.
The Eternal City’s tree was affectionately nicknamed “Spelacchio”, which translates as ‘mangy’ or ‘baldy’, after being declared dead on its arrival in Rome from northern Italy in December.
It was slammed an international embarrassment, and some compared it to a toilet brush.
But it gained such a fan base that the capital promised to save it from the chipper.
The tree will be given a new life as “a comfortable wooden house with a table where mothers can change their babies, a seat for breastfeeding and a playtable for young ones,” the council said in a statement.
“We want to make this international star a concrete example of creative recycling, because everything can have a second life,” mayor Virginia Raggi was quoted as saying.
The tree – which was estimated to have cost the city some €48,000 – was described by many as a metaphor for the state of the capital.
In a bizarre step, workers began dismantling the spindly giant, before apparently receiving orders to decorate it again after the deadline to remove it was pushed back.