“A dramatic situation at San Marco” – Procurator Tesserin decries new flooding in Basilica

More damage to the Basilica and its mosaics without local defenses. Baretta: “the forecasts were wrong”. Environmentalists denounce the situation.

By Alberto Vitucci

9 December 2020


“It’s a terrible situation. We are under water in a dramatic manner, and the damages are serious”. The shock of the exceptional acqua alta, without MoSE and without the local defenses that have been discussed – in vain – for many months, has infuriated the First Procurator of San Marco, Carlo Alberto Tesserin. For months he requested, to no avail, approval of the project to protect the Basilica with temporary glass sheets, which has been stalled since last February. In recent days MoSE has given people hope. Yesterday, instead, a disaster, with flooding of the interior chapels, in addition to the nartece, the columns and the precious floors, which since October are submerged twice a day. “There was not enough time to activate MoSE, it requires 48 hours advance notice”, said the Superintendent of Public Works Cinzia Zincone to ANSA, “the forecasts indicated a peak lower than 130 cm, so the dams were not activated. We hope that the wind helps us, and we need to improve the protocol”.

“Unacceptable” words, according to Andreina Zitelli, an expert on the lagoon, “from the top managers of Protection, who aren’t aware of natural phenomena. We need to review the choices, and move forward with local defense interventions and raising the ground level”. Stefano Boato speaks along the same lines. “It is painfully clear, this is what we said would happen after the decision communicated by Spitz to open MoSE only for tides over 130. This means the city has already gone under. The protocol is absurd and should be changed. Instead the other interventions that we have proposed in vain for years should be accelerated, such as raising the banks, the islets and protecting San Marco, all immediately”.

Pierpaolo Baretta, Undersecretary of the Economy and a candidate for Mayor who was defeated by Brugnaro two months ago, blames the forecasts. “But we also need to change the protocol”, he said. “Raising MoSE only over 130 is a mistake. We also need to speed up the procedures and to study climate change, making Venice a center of study on this issue. The controversies, from wherever they come, are serious and instrumental. Let’s not waste what we have done so far”.

Taking the opposite position is Venetian deputy for the Lega Alex Bazzaro. “If the management is in Rome it’s inevitable that disasters will happen. We want clarification on the new Authority for the lagoon”.

“After having extolled it for days, now it’s decided not to raise it, right during an exceptional acqua alta”, accuses Andrea Martini of Tutta la Città Insieme, “the City has been sacrificed to the interests of the Port or no one knows what else. It is absurd to have decided to close MoSE only over 130 centimeters”. Sergio Vazzoler, former Socialist deputy and inventor of the Center for Tide Forecasts at Venice, points his finger at those who have been promoting MoSE in recent days. “A work must be tested and re-tested before you can say it works”, he said, “Its maintenance costs and procedures are still a mystery”.

Source: La Nuova Venezia

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