We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot
escape responsibility for the results
(Edward R. Murrow)
Published on 27 July 2011
News July 2011
Venice is "under siege" by tourists and faces "irreversible" catastrophe if limits aren't imposed on visitor numbers, warns a report released Monday by Italy's leading heritage group.
Italia Nostra (Our Italy) accused the Italian government of " underestimating the devastating effects of past and future development projects and tourism policy," Reuters reports.
The group will ask UNESCO, the United Nation's cultural organization to place the city on its endangered list and consider removing it from its list of World Heritage Sites. The lagoon city is besieged by 60,000 tourists a day, including many from an increasing number of cruise ships that come to call, says Reuters.
Gondolas await passengers during a rare lull in Venice. An Italian environmental group is advocating limiting tourist numbers (Paolo Carosso)
"The Italian government has not lived up to its commitment made to UNESCO to safeguard Venice and its lagoon," the environmental organization said. Alessandra Mottola Molino, Italia Nostra's president, was quoted in London's Telegraph newspaper as saying, "We need to launch a planetary alarm."
A $4.8 billion flood barrier (named Moses) is under construction to contain tidal surges from the Adriatic into the city's lagoon. But it isn't due to be operational until 2014 and some environmentalists fear it's only a stopgap measure.
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