The World Daily
Concerns Over Venice’s Historical Integrity, Calls for a Place on U.N. Danger List

Cruise ships often tower over the city. Getty


           JUNE 25th 2019


By Patryk Krych | The World Daily


Concerns Over Venice’s Historical Integrity, Calls for a Place on U.N. Danger List


There are ongoing debates about the prospect that Venice ought to be put on the United Nations’ list of endangered cities, in regards to the recent incident on June the 2nd where a cruise ship had suffered a collision with the city.
The call came less than a month after the towering MSC Cruises’ massive 2,679-passenger Opera’s collision with the dock and the moored tourist boat “River Countess”, which had 110 people on board in Venice. 
The incident led to the injuring of four people and in the process had reawakened the popular heated debate frequented in Italy, regarding proper protection of the historic city, which is known to draw some 30 million tourists a year (one of the country’s highest-earning tourist industries).
“If something like that happened in the lagoon, it would be the end of the ecosystem,” said head of Italia Nostra in Venice, Lidia Fersuoch. “Venice is not just buildings. The lagoon is a living thing.”
Mariarita Signorini, national president of Italia Nostra (Our Italy) said “Venice is unique and we cannot allow it to be destroyed even more than it has been already.” Italia Nostra (Our Italy) is an Italian not for profit campaigning organisation whose stated mission is to defend Italy’s historical, artistic and environmental patrimony. “Venice is one of the most endangered cities in the world,” she added, speaking to a news conference announcing the decision to demand that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) put the city on its List of World Heritage in Danger. The list, according to UNESCO’s website, is meant to “encourage corrective action”.
Venice and its lagoon are, in light of the recent and past panics, already on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. However there is still some protest from Italia Nostra who say it is not enough. They state that the city’s greatest present threat is the high level of unbridled tourism, a steady departure and migration of long-time residents and environmental decay as a consequence all serve to pose an unearthly and difficult threat to the city’s endurance.
It is known among the members of Italia Nostra that being put on the danger list would have no immediate consequences or effects for the preservation of Venice, but make the argument that this would be a strong first step; that this course of action would compel national authorities to enact more precautions for the city. The first preferred precaution would likely be the banning of giant cruise ships, or any ships over a certain height that would pose a threat to the city’s safety and stability.
Cruise ships typically enter the lagoon via one of the three so-called “mouths” connecting it to the Adriatic Sea, then proceed to pass near St. Marks Square and then go through the Giudecca Canal in order to reach a passenger terminal. This in itself may seem harmless, but Italia Nostra further prompts that in their travel processes the ships cause large waves that only further damage historic buildings. The group hopes to have a port built, one designed for big ships in mind, at one of the mouths where the Adriatic Sea meets the lagoon and as such, solving one of their


By Patryk Krych | The World Daily