Murano: “Conflicts of interest, more hotels – workers and businesses pay”

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“After the meeting a year and half ago nothing has happened, if not the closure of kilns with the intent of converting them in to tourist lodgings, or other businesses not related to the island of glass.”

By Antonella Gasparini

“The situation at Murano is ever more alarming. Kilns closing, “For Sale” signs and a proliferation of new hotels, and complete indifference from the City and the Region, who don’t seem inclined to work for the preservation of a significant site such as Murano”. So said the Secretary of Chemicals of Filctem Cgil Venezia, Riccardo Colletti,.


“And what of the UNESCO world heritage? What we are witnessing in these last few months is that there are interests who are opposed to keeping the jobs and businesses on the island – said Colletti – This became clear during the vicious debates regarding the change of use of real estate. And to this we can add a new element, about which I have not seen any position taken, and that is the auctioning of the historic structure in which the brand Venini is located. So will this too be made into a hotel?”.

Conflicts of Interest

“It’s not useful to hold assemblies in which the different parties meet – continued Colletti – to solicit concerns and requests, if they in fact have different plans in mind, which seem to head in the direction of making Murano into a dormitory island for tourists. At the meeting a year and half ago with the Mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, there were businesses, unions and various associations, and each explained its needs, such as the need to increase the fight against counterfeiting, defending the brands, the difficulty of fluctuating demand and competition, often unfair, with glass produced on the island, which entails higher costs and significantly greater difficulty, including the cost of labor. Great, but since the meeting,– continued the secretary from Filctem –nothing has happened, if not the closure of kilns with the intent of converting them in to tourist lodgings, or other businesses not related to the island of glass, Murano. There are conflicts of interest, not just institutional, but also among the businesses”.


“Then the question of cadmium comes up – stated the Cgil manager -. A ruling of the European Community requires that all businesses discontinue the use of this element within 3 years. However the needed study of the composition of alternative materials, used for coloring the glass, was assigned to some other company. Gone is the function of the Experimental Center, which has always been here, and works in close collaboration with the producers. In the past it has found combinations that allowed the elimination of the use of lead and arsenic”.


“We agree – concludes Colletti – that it is necessary to adapt for and respect the environment and health. However we insist that the products introduced in Italy have the same characteristics and composition of those that must be made locally, with respect to the rules, to avoid downward price competition. A brand should be an element via which institutions, and those who work in the industry, defend the guarantees prescribed by the European Community. I believe the moment has arrived to confront the situation at Murano in a concrete fashion, with fewer slogans and more actions in support of a thousand year heritage being ruined by private interests who value only fast money”.

Source: Venezia Today, 18 July 2018

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