In Rome, the Trevi Fountain is fizzing. In Versailles the fountains are frothing. In Salford the fountain is, er, switched off.
It's 1pm and the sun is shining on Salford Council's £13million Greengate Square and its centrepiece fountain. During mid-summer, and for at least a week, the fountains haven't been working.
Indeed, as usual, the only things shimmering in the Square opposite Manchester Cathedral are the bins from the Bijou Club. There's not a squirt in view. Which is odd, because all winter in the freezing cold the fountains have been spouting away for a non-audience.
Today there are four people sat around the arid Square, some wondering, firstly, how the thing managed to cost £13million (the Square, the fountains and a new footbridge next to a bridge that was already there); and secondly why, in mid-summer, the thing isn't working.
"£13million?" bloody 'ell" says one person "they could at least switch it on – is it broke or something? And look at the state of those bins…Shocking."
This year Salford Council is splashing out £283,748 for management and maintenance for the `Greengate Public Realm', via its partnership with ASK Developments and sub contractor Capital Properties, which has the slogan `Making Places Work For You'.
Unfortunately the company can't make the fountains work for anyone during one of the periods when the city actually sees some sun.
Capital's site manager told the Salford Star that the fountains were switched off for "routine maintenance…which involves changing filters and things".
We asked if he thought it was strange to switch them off in mid-summer when the few people who are attracted by the water feature might actually want to see them working?
"It's part of a pre-planned maintenance programme" he told us "they might be back on tomorrow."
Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart reckons Greengate Square "will be the catalyst to £400 million of private sector investment". Let's hope no-one turned up to be a catalyst on mid-summer week…
For full background details on the fountains see previous Salford Star articles…
Salford Council £13million Fountain Folly – click here
Salford Mayor Opens £13million Fountain Days After Passing £23million Cuts - click here