Alarm over the historic dry docks at the Arsenale of Venice. “They will become the warehouse for MoSE”

12 September is the date for the Conference of services that must decide the destiny of the area. Organizations protest: “It’s imperative to study the alternatives”

By Alberto Vitucci

4 September 2018

VENEZIA. The deadline is set for 12 September. In all probability this will be the day when the future of the Arsenale Nuovissimo will be decided. It may become the warehouse and maintenance area for the dams of MoSE, forever. The director of Public Works, Roberto Linetti, has arranged a Conference of services that must make a decision regarding the proposal by the City to modify the zoning for the area. Likewise it must weigh in for or against the Consortium for a New Venice’s (CVN) project which calls for setting up the area of the Bacino Grande dry dock and the Bacino Medio as a “shelter” for the dams. This project would also see the construction of a large black edifice between the two bacini to house the maintenance workshops.

Organizations are protesting. The Municipality has asked for years: “Why transform Arsenale into storage for MoSE?”  An alternative has even been proposed: the area around Marghera. This would leave Arsenale to its role as a cultural space that is open to the city, to be enhanced with artisans and activities that are compatible with a shipyard. “The systems for checking on MoSE could remain there”, said Marco Zanetti of Venezia Cambia and Forum Arsenale, “but to bring the maintenance of the dams here means ruining this monumental complex”.

The project was proposed some years ago, and was partially reduced in scope after the protests. Now the City supports it, as does the Region. The Superintendent said yes years ago, and has not weighed in further since then. “It is our responsibility to move forward with the MoSE project”, said Linetti, “there may be alternatives in some public areas of Marghera. But time is short, we are already late. We need to choose well. The State has already invested many millions of Euro”.

The Bacini drydocks, which are unique in the Adriatic, and which were built two centuries ago for the dry maintenance of ships, would in the project’s design have to become the “holding tanks” for the MoSE dams. According to MoSE’s design, the 78 dams of MoSE at the three port openings have to be completely replaced. Thus, breakage and other problems aside, at Arsenale at least one dam per month would be dismantled, checked, sandblasted and painted. There would be constant traffic of tugs and the “jack-up”, the yellow ship built and equipped for moving the dams at a cost of 62 million Euro (plus 8 more to fix errors in its construction).

Environmentalists are ready to fight. “It could end up like the other time”, they say, “when pushed by the CVN of Mazzacurati and the Region under Galan, the building yard for the construction of the concrete caissons ended up being situated on the beach at Pellestrina”. This had a powerful environmental impact, which would not have come to be had the caissons been built elsewhere.

“Now we risk repeating this error”, he warned. “Why should Arsenale, with its long history, be transformed into an industrial warehouse like so many others?”.

Source: La Nuova Venezia, 4 September 2018

One thought on “Alarm over the historic dry docks at the Arsenale of Venice. “They will become the warehouse for MoSE”

  1. This should not and cannot happen. There are other spaces for the maintenance and repair of MOSE which would not involve the destruction of this historic complex The Arsenale. Venice must be maintained in its history and with respect for its artistic values..


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s