Murano is now an emergency: the “Io sono Murano” movement
26 June, 2020
By Giorgia Pradolin
Murano and its glass are in an emergency. The economic crisis on the island began about twenty years ago, with a tourism that became less and less wealthy, and in the aftermath of the coronavirus emergency the stores, the glassmakers and the furnaces risk lowering their shutters for good.
Master glassmaker Giancarlo Signoretto, the brother of Pino Signoretto, a historic name in glass production, pretends to work with empty tubes to represent the desperation: “This is the situation today – he says, referring to the absence of spectators around – the situation is very drastic, and we have to find a solution”.
The furnaces on the island are empty. Around thirty businesses related to artistic glass have reopened but are working little or not at all. Others have preferred to remain closed and wait for better times.
The people of Murano speak of a dual emergency, the exceptional acqua alta in November and Covid, two episodes that are linked by a red thread that keeps them suspended before an uncertain future.
Raffaella Lamberti, owner of a shop named after her, also has tears in her eyes while she speaks these words to those who ask about her business: “I am almost 74 years old, for 14 I’ve worked glass. Since we can’t do that, we’re asking for concrete help, because we’ve never seen a situation like this”.
This week the workers can be found under a banner with the slogan “Io sono Murano/I am Murano” to ask for help like tax relief. “On Murano we’ve been at a standstill for months – they said – now since the cursed acqua alta”.
There are no tourists, and the reduction of public transportation has caused another problem: “The glassmakers were already very much in crisis, and unfortunately Covid has not helped – says restaurateur Gabriiele Masiol, owner of “Busa alla torre” – just as the transportation situation has not helped Murano, and with the reduction of public transportation we have become isolated”.
Artisans and decorators are worried, explaining their difficulties in front of the camera of Andrea Rizzo, who has made a documentary that is ready to be spread on social media. This will be accompanied by a dozen pages of proposals which will soon reach the institutions.
“We have gathered ideas and proposal that we will bring to the attention of the Metropolitan and Regional administrations – explains Manuel Tiffi, spokesman for the initiative and of the group “In Venice Tourists are Welcome” – we don’t want out of control tourism like we had before, but it is undeniable that without tourists the city cannot live”.
Source: La Voce di Venezia