Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.
– Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad
The city of Venice extends over a series of 119 islands emerging from a vast lagoon between the mainland and the high seas. Until its foundation, it was inhabited by some Illyrians and Venetians who lived on palafitts and subsisted on fishing and salt extraction.
Its foundation dates back to the year 421. The inhabitants of Veneto, expelled by the Ostrogoths and Lombards, took refuge in these marshy lands of the mouth of the river Po, which will be the starting point of the city of Venice.
Last Tuesday Venice faced had one of the worst flooding ever registered in the last millennium. Even if the inhabitants are used to them since the birth of the first human settlements in the lagoon and know how to deal with them, lately the water levels kept rising, centimeter by centimeter.
No Venetian soul is foolished enough to not acknowledge that their city is destined to sink, but calculations always assured them that it would be something of the far future.
Last night the highest point reached by the water was 190 cm from the sea level. From ground level it would be ranging from 80 to 100 cm, depending on where you find yourself.
But the last time this happened was in 1966.
It seems that climate change, the mass tourism with the constant arrival of cruise ships are one of the many causes of this historical, human, economical , architectural and ecological disaster.
The expansion of the port of Marghera, facing Venice, intended to encourage the arrival of more cruise ships, is pointed out by the ecologists that the facts of these last days give reason in view of the scale of the disaster, and in spite of denials of some men of the Italian political class.
Artist Lorenzo Quinns created giant hands sculpture (9 meters) emerging from a Venice Canal to raise climate change awareness ❤️
In order to protect the city against tides and possible floods- a constant- fight against the sinking of the city in the Adriatic Sea: in a century, the city on stilts, built on 118 islands and islets, fell by 30 cm, a project MOSE (Experimental Electromechanical Module) of 78 gigantic floating dikes was considered in the 1970s, to close the lagoon in case of an alert with a height of 3 M high but did not really start in 2003, then pushed back until 2013 and 3 years later in 2016, it was still not operational.
The mayor of the city Luigi Brugnaro is vehemently protesting against the fact that they are not ready yet while Rome, through Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte said they are at 93% and will be deliverable in 2021.
Of course !! And another Acqua Alta more deadly in the meantime, we pray that this does not happen ???
Currently, Saturday November 16th, another weather alert with another possible recurrence is feared while Venice is still trying to cope and recover from the high tide, the second-worst since 1966.
And to those that may think:” Well, 80 cm isn’t that bad”, let me remind you that these giant masses of water damage buildings, infrastructures and electric powerage. It breaks down windows and doors.
Last night the water running down little streets (nicknamed ‘calli’) had the force of a flooded river during rain season. People could have risked to be swept away and drowning
187 cm of water with strong winds (Sirocco) and rain…this night. A tragic situation for Venice and the world in general.
The crypt in the Basilica of San Marco was completely submerged beyond any repair. The damage to the city is estimated to be of hundreds of millions of euros.
San Moisè church ~ Venice 12-11-2019
Beautiful and famous places like Café Florian, a coffee house on Piazza San Marco in Venice are flooded.
The café was established in 1720, and is the oldest coffee house in the world in continuous operation (along with Café Procope in Paris). It was patronized by notable people such as Carlo Goldoni, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and Casanova, who was no doubt attracted by the fact that Caffè Florian was the only coffee house that allowed women. Later, Lord Byron, Marcel Proust, and Charles Dickens were frequent visitors. It was one of the few places where Gasparo Gozzi’s early newspaper Gazzetta Veneta could be bought in the 18th century, and became a meeting place for people from different social classes.
It is now totally closed , submerged by waters.
So far, the only saved monuments are The Horses of Saint Mark . Known as the Triumphal Quadriga , they represent a set of gilded bronze statues of four horses that were originally part of a monument depicting a quadriga, a four horse-carriage used in chariot races. The horses date from classical antiquity, and are attributed to Lysippos, an extremely famous Classical Greek sculptor who specialized in bronze. Despite their classical origins, they are most famous for their place on the facade of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice.
The Horses of Saint Mark have had an interesting history of looting and theft. In the 5th century CE, the statutes were transported from the island of Chios to Constantinople by Emperor Theodosius II. They were placed on the top of the famous Hippodrome of Constantinople, and stayed there until 1204 when they were looted by the Venetians during the sack of the city in the Fourth Crusade. They were then installed on the facade of St. Mark’s Basilica, and remained there until Napoleon’s conquest of Venice in 1797. The emperor forcibly removed the horses from the basilica and transported them to Paris where they briefly became part of the quadriga monument on the top of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. The horses were returned to Venice in 1815 shortly after Napoleon’s defeat in Waterloo and remain there to this day.
Due to conservation purposes, the original Horses of Saint Mark were taken off the basilica’s facade in the 1980s and replaced with replicas. They are now on display in the museum inside the basilica. They are a wonderful instance of the use war loot throughout history, and a testament to people’s fascination with the past.
The press and politics speak about the monuments, cultural goods and churches but you cannot put aside all those stores old or new that won’t get any financial help from the State and will just have to rebuild everything from their own ressources.
Meanwhile waiting for the next upcoming horror because scientists predict the death and sinking of Venice in 2100 because of global warming
Copyright photo : Laguna di Venezia © 2019 Oscar Alcañiz
Mythe de Venise modernité/post-modernité. Interview avec Massimo Cacciari
Source for Lorenzo Quinns Facebook/Fantastic Things In The World
Copyright © 2019- Intellectual property of Angénic Agnero- All Rights Reserved 1997-2019.
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