TRIESTE – The Council of Ministers has approved a decree-law prohibiting the passage of large ships in Venice in front of San Marco, starting from 1 August. The alternative is the mooring in Marghera, funds to compensate the losses, and a Commissioner for the works are provided.
The hypotheses of recent days became a reality this afternoon when the Government decided to introduce urgent measures to protect waterways of cultural interest and for the safeguarding of Venice.
A big push came from Unesco, which had threatened to include Venice in the blacklist of heritage sites at risk. The body of the World Heritage Center is about to meet in China starting next week to decide on the list.
“To protect Venice’s environmental, artistic and cultural heritage, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, large ships are prohibited from passing through the San Marco Basin, the San Marco Canal, and the Giudecca Canal from 1 August next. The specific rule on Venice is included in the decree approved today by the Council of Ministers, which contains general provisions to ensure the integrity and decorum of all waterways declared a national monument,” reads a note from the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.
The ban on transit from 1 August in the protected areas of the Venice lagoon concerns ships with at least one of the following characteristics: gross tonnage superior to 25,000 tons, hull length at waterline over 180 meters, air draft over 35 meters, with the exclusion of the ships with hybrid sail-motor propulsion; use of fuel during manoeuvring that produces polluting emissions (with sulfur content equal to or greater than 0.1%).
The same decree provides for sector operators (shipping companies, terminal operators and service providers) directly affected by the ban on the transit of large ships in the Venice lagoon. For this purpose, an ad hoc fund has been set up.
In order to adapt the Marghera area to accommodate large ships, no more than five landing points will be built. For these interventions, total investments of 157 million euros are planned. To swiftly proceed with the planning, awarding and execution of these works, the President of the Port Network Authority of the Northern Adriatic Sea (Fulvio Lino Di Blasio) is appointed extraordinary Commissioner.