Venice in danger: Unesco recommended placing it on the list of world heritage sites at risk of disappearing

The government implemented an entrance fee for tourists to discourage mass arrivals (Reuters) (MANUEL SILVESTRI /)

The measures taken by the Italian State to protect the city from Venice and its lagoon are “insufficient” and “should be expanded”, indicated this Monday the Unescowhich will propose to place it in the endangered heritage list.

The UNESCO Heritage Center considered the Mass tourism, reform projects and climate change as the main threats to the Italian city, since damage building structures and to urban areas, degrading their cultural and social identity.

Venice “faces a proven danger and some threats that cause harmful effects on their intrinsic characteristics”, added the UN Organization for Education, Science and Culture (Unesco).

For all these reasons, the Heritage Committee will propose placing it in the list of endangered places during the UNESCO General Assembly that will take place in Riyadh from September 15 to 25.


insufficient measures

In its report, the organization acknowledges that Italy has improved tourism management and coordination between the different administrations involved to protect the ecosystem.

In addition, progress has been made in the creation of tidal barriers and in the consolidation of the beaches and coastal dunes and “state-of-the-art technology” has been used in forecasting their rise in water levels, while maintaining the veto on cruise ships to the ports closest to the center.

But these advances are not enoughindicates the organization, which calls for a more in-depth study of the natural phenomena that affect Venice and the impact of climate change on the city, as well as the consequences of the barrier system and the arrival of cruise ships in nearby channels.

On the other hand, demands “a sustainable model of tourism” that reduce the “exceptionally high number of visitors” and “considerably improve the quality of life for residents.”

Groups of tourists in San Marcos square (Reuters)
Groups of tourists in San Marcos square (Reuters) (MANUEL SILVESTRI /)

He also considers that the projected construction of high-rise buildings on the outskirts of the city may have a negative visual impact that adds to the other dangers that threaten Venice, inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1987.

These threats can cause “irreversible changes and a substantial loss of the historical authenticity and cultural significance that constitute a part of the outstanding universal value” of the city, it added.

Venice, founded in the 5th century and converted into a naval power in the Mediterranean in the 10th century, is currently one of the most visited cities in the world, with daily peaks of up to 100,000 tourists who spend the night there, while its population of about 50,000 inhabitants , is reduced annually.

(With information from EFE)

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