A leading citizen writes an open letter for saving Venice

The economy of Venice has been devastated by the lack of tourists post pandemic.
The economy of Venice has been devastated by the lack of tourists post pandemic. Image: Giovanni Antonio Canal (wikimedia)

David Landau, a respected scholar and successful businessman has come up with a proposal with five points for sustainable development in the tourism-driven Venice in an open letter.

An Israeli by nationality, he supported the Venetian glass industry by financing the Stanze del Vetro exhibition space and study centre on the island of San Giorgio and founding Venice Glass Week, a mecca now for everyone interested in hand-made glass, with its fourth edition from 5-13 September this year. He claims to have “an objective advantage of studying the problems of the Venetians from a distance—detached but by no means indifferent!”.

He proposes that the Venetian economy, which has over the years allowed itself to be dependent on tourism and let the industry let the city run rampant with huge ships filled with passengers in its lagoon, streets with crushing crowds of tourists and so on destroying nature and leaving no space for the locals. His open letter to the election candidates has already been published in two newspapers.

These are his five proposals:

  1. Aspire to become the European Capital of Culture, not for a year but every day: build more contacts with cultural institutions to promote the practice of all kinds of art and cultural activities and set up new institutions. This will improve the landscape of the city by making a more sustainable and constant use of public spaces and buildings. It will also improve the quality of tourists in the city who will value their time in Venice and also make a steady flow for more residential migrants practicing these arts.
  2. Aspire to become the first city in the world entirely dedicated to the study of the environment, ecology, global warming and pollution: Invite scientific institutions, researchers to study these subjects in the city. Be an advocate for the revival of the environment and implement sustainable modes of tourism and living in the city. This will be a continuation of the previous point. The new residents and travellers to the city with this drive for scientific study and culture will necessitate the stabilisation of the city as an eco-friendly city and contribute to the tourism industry by boarding their hotels, or dining and farmer’s markets etc.
  3. Find, probably in the European institutions, the funds necessary for a structural relaunching of Murano and the glass produced there: strengthen the glass industry, make it the best glass industry of the world. All while inventing methods to reuse waste materials and consume less energy, The recovered energy can be used for benefitting Murano and Venice.
  4.  Launch a plan for transforming Marghera [a dying industrial port inside the lagoon], between Fusina and the Ponte della Libertà, into the most attractive marina for pleasure craft in the Mediterranean: build an ecosystem to support the marina in the region. It is a safe place for the boats of thousands of Italians and Europeans. It is close to Austria, Germany, Switzerland and protected against bad weather. It is also easily accessible by land through motorway or train or by sea via the Canale dei Petroli. Cleansing the polluted ground from the entire area, even if expensive, will be a one-time investment.
  5. Do all of this while respecting the law: Become a beacon in Italy for the fight against the infiltration of criminal elements into daily life and the enslavement of the labouring classes, who are burdened with the most menial work and have no real rights or certainty or hope for a better future. 

Read the full letter at The Art Newspaper.

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