Skulls under the Basilica di San Marco – parliamentary inquiry filed on treatment of bones “like bricks”

An inquiry has been filed by Orietta Vanin (M5S) with two Ministries after the discovery of bones during the work to defend the basilica from the tides – the inquiry questions the treatment of the finds and the methods of work

By Vera Mantengoli

17 December 2021

VENEZIA. How do you handle skulls that pop up during construction? Recently, during the excavations to build the glass wall meant to protect the Basilica from the Acque Alte, skull and skeletons have been found, dating back to a past that the experts are still deciphering.

Yesterday parliamentarian Orietta Vanin submitted a parliamentary inquiry to the Minister of Culture and the Minister of Infrastructure and Sustainable Transportation to ask if the rules of Cultural Heritage are being followed when discoveries are made to recover the medieval remains deposited in wood boxes and treated like bricks and waste material. There was an immediate response from Renzo Rossi of the company Construzioni, which is carrying out the work for Consorzio Venezia Nuova.

“Archaeological assistance is constant, to the point that we have an archaeologist, Dr. Marco Bortoletto, always present, and if he is not present at the moment of a discovery we stop, and we are required to call him,” explains the company president. “Immediately informing the superintendent is a mandatory step. We don’t move even a cubic centimeter of soil if we find something until the archaeologist tells us what we should do. We cannot allow ourselves to do something without informing the Superintendency, and it is for this reason that the responsible institutions, from the Consorzio to the Provveditorato alle Acque, required the presence of an archaeologist”.

Vanin has asked if the recent work has complied regulations, or rather whether the preliminary verification of archaeological interest has been done, has the site been checked by archaeologists, with the support of anthropologists from the Superintendency of Anthropologists. The inquiry further asks how collected finds are being made safe, and if carrying out the work with machinery and bulldozers is compatible with the conservation and preservation measures called for by the cultural heritage and sites code.

The inquiry was co-signed by representatives Endrizzi, Trentacoste, Presutti and Croatti.


Source: La Nuova di Venezia e Mestre

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