The List: Trading with Genoa

Andy Downing
adowning@columbusalive.com

This week, a famed, 276-year-old resident of Italy will be visiting Columbus: the violin known as “Il Cannone.”

The instrument, once owned by the legendary Niccolo Paganini, will be on display at the Columbus Museum of Art from Saturday, May 11, through Sunday, May 19. It will also be played during a Columbus Symphony concert at Ohio Theatre on Wednesday, May 15. Considering the rare visit (the violin was last in the United States in 2003), we thought we'd offer up a few local treasures that could be offered in return to Genoa, Italy — some for good, others on a more temporary basis. Here they are, listed in the order in which we'd celebrate their eventual homecoming.

Nina West

The drag queen is currently wowing a national audience on this season of “RuPaul's Drag Race” (follow along with weekly recaps from the dynamic duo of Erica Thompson and Brittany Moseley at columbusalive.com). West might be an American icon now, but Columbus is still home.

The complete Anyway Records catalog

For more than two decades Bela Koe-Krompecher has helmed this local treasure, whose deep, diverse catalog includes past greats (Jenny Mae, New Bomb Turks) and compelling current acts (St. Lenox, Mary Lynn).

Comic treasures from the Billy Ireland archives

This local comics museum has long been a hidden gem, but in the past year it's also become the go-to source for artists looking to donate entire collections, receiving gifts from “Marmaduke” creator Brad Anderson, “Archie” artist Dan DeCarlo and award-winning Alive cartoonist Noah Van Sciver.

Lisa Brokaw's guitar tone

Listen to “Too Much” off the last (and only) album from Grunge Dad, Fame Horse, and you'll get some sense of what the current Blanket Boys member can do with a guitar in her hands.

Edward Hopper's “Morning Sun”

Paintings by Hopper have sold for more than $40 million as recently as 2013, so the fact that the Columbus Museum of Art paid only $3,500 for this masterwork in 1954 makes it among the better local investments.

The Book Loft's Twitter account (@TheBookLoft1)

The independent bookshop/labyrinth runs what might be this writer's favorite local Twitter account (aside from Hanif Abdurraqib; follow him at @NifMuhammad), combining the right amount of snark and surrealism. Witness this recent tweet:

spring update:

-books are good

-birds chirping

-flowers are blooming

-lots of screaming and scratching coming from The Pit™

-The Followers opened up the Hell Hole on the roof

-Old Town Road on repeat

-jeff bezos sucks

-books are good

Praise Malamarkus, Our Skeleton Lord

47 pints of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, various flavors

Perhaps the only thing on this list with a street value equal to that of “Il Cannone.”

The Santa Maria

Built to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus' voyage, this recreation was, for a time, anchored on the Scioto River. I think most would be comfortable with pushing it back out to sea, potentially never to be seen again.

7,500 pounds of Hot Chicken Takeover

This is only registering this low on the return-to-sender scale because we don't want to unpack 235 pounds of rotting chicken bones and discarded viscera.

The Columbus statue

This statue, a gift from Genoa, was dedicated in October 1955. Sixty-four years is a nice run. You can have this one back for good, Italy.

Campus Partners

We're guessing it won't take 64 years for CP to bless Genoa with endless stretches of characterless mixed-use buildings.