For the attention of the President of the Council of Ministers, Mario Draghi,
We had barely rejoiced! The international press had welcomed this great news!
“We were never to see these monstrous liners touch the quays of Venice again, taking the risk with each passage of destroying some of the masterpieces of this world heritage.
This Thursday, March 25, 2021, we were so relieved to learn of your historic decision …
Since the terrible accident of June 2, 2019, which saw a “Grandi navi” crash on the edge of the Giudecca canal causing 7 injuries, we now know that with each passage a new tragedy can occur.
Because it is indeed a drama that was narrowly avoided this Sensa afternoon, the day of the traditional feast of the sea. A drama that could have been murderous without the presence of mind of the captain of a small boat on which housed the MSC Opera, spurring Venice at the same time. This courageous captain untied the moorings of his boat and made sure to avoid being, with his crew, totally crushed, because they were caught between the liner and the quay.
And here is barely three weeks after this announcement, we learn that despite everything, we will see again the distressing spectacle of these floating buildings passing in front of Saint Mark’s Square from the month of June?
So the chapter is not closed?
So what about the promises made? Does this mean that barely out of confinement, we will also find mass tourism in Venice?
If the period of the Covid19 at least allowed a general awareness, it was that of the need to completely rethink the tourist model until now in force in Venice.
We Venice lovers enjoyed the images of a majestic, fascinating Venice, stripped of tourism that had become more than invasive; but we also saw during this period, so many extraordinary craftsmen, so many artists of glass, wood, lace, marbled paper, to struggle and to suffer enormous economic difficulties while continuing valiantly for to perpetuate a Venice full of artisanal riches.
So really, couldn’t Venice do without these Grandi Navi which will have the right to circulate again from the month of June?
Are we to understand that by coming back to this announcement, you are also promising us these muddled crowds that once got off the liner will once again invade the streets causing embarrassment and inconvenience to Venetian residents but also to visitors respectful of the city that we are?
So we sign so that the mistakes of the past can be learned the lessons of tomorrow, we sign to return as quickly as possible to Venice, we who are informed amateurs.
We are signing up to be part of the actors of the renaissance of quality tourism in Venice, to be part of the adventure that will give this pure jewel of humanity the place it deserves.
The Pearl of the Adriatic has made you around the world the emblem of good taste, daring, and aesthetics. Help us preserve It by sticking to the courageous decisions you make and preventing it from falling prey to maddening tourism again.
We all want to come out of the traumatic ordeal we have just been through growing up.
You promised us a new model of tourism for Venice, we can’t wait to find out.
We are signing not to return to mass tourism before the pandemic.
We sign to never go back to the abnormal again.
Isabelle Kahna for the Wings of Venice
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