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PHOTOS: Rome's $57,000 Christmas Tree is Already Dead

PHOTOS: Rome's $57,000 Christmas Tree is Already Dead

A Christmas tree in Rome that drew criticism for its unhealthy appearance and high cost has been pronounced dead days before Christmas.

The tree, which was bought for €48,000 (or roughly $57,000) and erected in Piazza Venezia, was given the nickname "spelacchio," which means "mangy" or "balding" in Italian. It has also been compared to a "toilet brush."

And it's a pretty accurate description:

People around the world have ridiculed the tree, and the government has been sharply criticized for wasting so much public money:

A spoof Twitter account for Spelacchio has even been set up, amassing over 5,000 followers:

But not everyone on Twitter was quite so hard on poor Spelacchio. A few were able to find its sad beauty:

Unfortunately, Spelacchio was dead on arrival, according to environmentalists. The tree literally left its roots back in the Dolomites. But that doesn't necessarily explain Spelacchio's sickly look.

A spokesperson for the area of Northern Italy where the tree was taken from has said that "despite being technically dead, trees can remain luxuriant for a month and a half, two months," adding, "It left our valley in optimum condition."

"What happened is that it wasn't unloaded correctly once it arrived in Rome, which is an extremely delicate operation because there's a risk of breaking the branches," the spokesperson explained.

Meanwhile, Twitter mourned the demise of the poor tree:

But for Romans looking for a festive tree that isn't quite so depressing, you can always head over to St. Peter's Square in the Vatican and check out their gigantic red fir from Poland that clearly survived its trip much better than Spelacchio.

And as for Spelacchio, it'll live on forever in our hearts, and continue to haunt our dreams until the end of time.

R.I.P. dear Spelacchio. You were too good for this Earth.

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H/T: Twitter, The Local