Minister of Culture Bonisoli: “Venice risks becoming Las Vegas”. For residents and workers, patience has run out.

Gruppo 25 Aprile: “We need to recreate the conditions for a rebirth of artisanal activity. Venice could become the world capital of culture”

By Eugenio Pendolini

VENEZIA. We lack a strategic vision for Venice, the turnstiles are not a sufficient remedy, and it is fundamental to act on behalf of the social fabric. The basic objective is to avoid the disintegration of the citizenry. Civil politics and society can be found in the words of Alberto Bonisoli. The Minister of Culture, visiting the Accademia Gallery yesterday, asserted that Venice “runs the risk of becoming Las Vegas”. In Bonisoli’s opinion the important thing to focus on is the number of visitors arriving in the city. For the Minister it is fundamental to invest in “the production of permanent culture” and to intervene regarding the number of those who decide to stay in the city. These opinions find agreement from the head of the M5S at Ca’ Farsetti. “I completely agree with the Minister’s words. The management of tourist flows” said Davide Scano, “should be done upstream and not downstream, and trying to regulate the phenomenon with turnstiles is not useful. The Minister has brought to the center another point: the life of the city, as lived by the citizens and not just “city users”. Bonisoli is one of the first ministers to directly address the problems of the city firsthand. I hope that in the future other ministers will also come”.

For Monica Sambo (PD), what is missing is a comprehensive vision for governing a complex phenomenon such as tourism. The turnstiles, she says, are just “street theater” that will not solve the city’s problems. “Mobility, lodgings and incentives for housing and residents: we lack a far-reaching program for these subjects. Then there is also a fundamental issue: alongside the preservation of artistic and cultural heritage, we need action to save the social fabric”.

Gruppo 25 Aprile’s position is along the same line. Always at the forefront regarding the issues of residents, the Venetian association emphasizes the importance of investing in the citizens. So, is it true that Venice risks becoming like Las Vegas? “Regarding the inflow of tourists, we need to think about a number of visitors that is appropriate for the city. They flaunt the turnstiles, but then we don’t understand the choice to open hotels in Mestre”. For Gruppo 25 Aprile, Bonisoli’s statements raise another essential point: “It is fundamental to re-grow artistic and cultural activities. Venice could become the world capital of culture. Events like the Biennale are welcome, but these events are only temporary. Instead a more permanent push is needed. Our request of the Administration”, concluded the association, “is to listen to the requests of civil society, which up to the present has been done far too little”.

For Ernesto Pancin, director of AEPE (public workers), Bonsoli’s message has his endorsement: “However these concepts are dangerous here in Venice. The city is being exploited by political factions who are legislating its extinction. The true objective is to have a strategic vision of the city for the coming centuries”.

Source: La Nuova Venezia, 1 September 2018

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