Venice, big ships: open letter from 21 world celebrities to safeguard the city

Twenty-one world celebrities signed an open letter to safeguard Venice from big ships: drafted a real decalogue.

Anopen letter signed by twenty-one world celebrities to save Venice from large ships: ten key points that Venetian Heritage director Toto Bergamo Rossi drafted in a letter that was then sent to President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, Prime Minister Mario Draghi and regional and local institutions, as well as to Veneto Region President Luca Zaia, Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro and Culture Minister Dario Franceschini.

Among the celebrities who signed the “decalogue” in favor of safeguarding Venice with regard to the issue of cruise ships, which after months of a pandemic stop will return to the city’s of the lagoon (the first one, after months, is expected to pass through St. Mark’s basin again on June 5, the MSC Orchestra), include artist Anish Kapoor, singer and Rollong Stones frontman Mick Jagger, actress Tilda Swinton, directors Francis Ford Coppola, James Ivory, Wes Anderson, patron and collector David Landau, journalist and writer Anna Somers Cocks, as well as New York Guggenheim Museum director Richard Armstrong and Houston Museum of Fine Arts director Gary Tinterow.

Some themes of the ten points are managing tourist flows, protecting urban decency, regulating tourist rentals, and supporting long-term commercial and residential rentals for local people. Also called for large cruise ships to be banned from passing through the lagoon and the completion of the Mose construction site. Also, the management of water traffic to protect the city from wave damage, the planning of cultural events and the enhancement of historical and artistic heritage, and the introduction of compulsory reservation to access the historic center to manage tourist flows.

"Venice shows its suffering“ with these words the open letter begins, and goes on to state that ”such a fragile asset, heritage of humanity, cannot survive without our help. We need a special statute, a law, that protects not only its physical integrity, but also its urban fabric and cultural identity. We demand that not only the immense artistic heritage be preserved, but also city life."

The decree imposing a stop to large ships in Venice had been converted into law on May 13 , but there were already rumors that it will probably be a long time before we see St. Mark’s Basin free of ships.

Image: cruise ship in St. Mark’s basin. Ph.Credit Wolfgang Moroder

Venice, big ships: open letter from 21 world celebrities to safeguard the city
Venice, big ships: open letter from 21 world celebrities to safeguard the city

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