“The city will be saved only by the Venetians” – Luigi Brugnaro
Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro will fly to Paris the 23rd of January as the guest of UNESCO. There will not be technical tests but a genuine meeting in which the mayor will clarify the position of the city and the Administration regarding the management of mass tourism. In the past months the global Organization for education, science and culture has announced the removal of Venice from their site (and imminent placement on the World Heritage Endangered Site list) if it is late in confronting the problems resulting from mass tourism and the depopulation of the city. A warning which has received a strong response from the Mayor who said “it is we who bring value to UNESCO, not viceversa”. To mend the media conflict a concrete attempt at reconciliation followed with a visit to the city by Irina Bokova, General Director of UNESCO, that restarted the dialog, preparing, in fact, for the appointment on Monday 23 January. In this occasion the Mayor reaffirmed the commitment to form policy to help residency and build a base for a solid future at Venice.
“We have a complete agreement with the Government to demonstrate what we are doing in this direction – said the Mayor yesterday. But everyone knows that Venice, in this moment, for what I have seen, is being saved by the Venetians, and will be saved from there, by the people who live there. There is no conflict, there are no clashes, except for those who profit from a position. No one is better than another. It needs to stop, enough with the continued, more or less elitist offenses. Everyone wins or loses in this game. No one pulls out. Mine is a collective appeal: this time Venice must win, there is no other result that we want.”
Source: Il Gazzettino, Jan. 15, 2017