Italy to ban large cruise ships in central Venice to protect lagoon – .

Italy to ban large cruise ships in central Venice to protect lagoon – .

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                Les grands navires de croisière seront interdits de navigation dans le centre de Venise à partir du 1er août, a annoncé mardi l'Italie, après des années d'avertissements, ils risquaient de causer des dommages irréparables à la ville lagunaire.

                                    <p>La décision, confirmée lors d'une réunion du cabinet du Premier ministre Mario Draghi, intervient quelques jours avant une réunion de l'organisation culturelle de l'ONU, l'UNESCO, qui avait proposé d'ajouter Venise à sa liste des sites du patrimoine en danger.

“The decree adopted today represents an important step for the protection of the Venetian lagoon system,” Draghi said in a statement.

He added that there would be money to mitigate the impact on employment.

This decision will see the larger ships diverted to the industrial port of the town of Marghera.

However, this is only seen as a temporary solution, with ministers calling for ideas on a new permanent terminal.

Campaigners have been calling for years for cruise ships to be banned from passing iconic St. Mark’s Square.

They say the giant floating hotels cause big waves that undermine the city’s foundations and damage the fragile ecosystem of its lagoon.

The debate was reignited by the return of cruises last month after the coronavirus pandemic, when the tourist crowds that normally fill the streets of Venice stayed away.

Venice was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987 as an “extraordinary architectural masterpiece”.

But the body warned last month of the need for “more sustainable tourism management” and recommended adding Venice to its list of endangered heritage.

Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said on Tuesday that after years of deliberations on what to do, the decision had become urgent.

The first cruise liner from Venice since the easing of Covid-19 restrictions left the port on June 5, 2021. © AFP / FRANCE 24

” Good compromise “

“From August 1, large ships will no longer be able to reach Venice via the St. Mark’s Basin, the St. Mark’s Canal or the Giudecca Canal,” said Infrastructure Minister Enrico Giovannini.

There would be compensation for those who lost the move and 157 million euros ($ 185 million) were invested in the port of Marghera.

He said the ban was a “necessary step to protect the environmental, landscape, artistic and cultural integrity of Venice”.

It will only apply to the larger ships, with those carrying around 200 passengers being considered “sustainable” and still allowed to enter the center.

Those that meet one of the four criteria will be banned: weighing more than 25,000 tons, measuring more than 180 meters long, more than 35 meters high or producing more than 0.1 percent sulfur.

The vice-president of the tourist association Confturismo, Marco Michielli, said the new law represented a “good compromise”.

“The Marghera solution would maintain port activity in Venice: on the one hand safeguard jobs and activities, and on the other hand free up the Giudecca canal on the other,” he declared.




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