Is Venice doomed?

Stephen Beard Jun 12, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: If you have any plans to go to Venice, Italy anytime soon, you should probably know, it is sinking. It’s been almost 40 years since a flood drowned the city. But now, there’s a debate about whether too much money is going toward trying to save Venice. From our European Desk in London, Stephen Beard reports.


STEPHEN BEARD: Venice has been plucking at our heart strings and emptying our wallets for years.

Bewitched by its decadent beauty, tourists have allowed themselves to be ripped off by gondoliers for at least a century. And they’ve dropped a bundle in donations to save the city from sinking into the sea.

Italian and European taxpayers have also coughed up billions. Venice is drowning in money but it’s still sinking, says Professor John Kay, who’s taking part in tonight’s debate.

JOHN KAY: The real problems are not problems of science and economics. They are problems of politics, organization and management.

But others will argue tonight that in an era of rising sea levels, La Serenissima is probably doomed and they’ll say we should let her slip gracefully into the sea.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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