Venice | After a 17-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first cruise ship took off on Saturday in Venice, sparking controversy between supporters and rivals over the presence of these sea monsters in the famous Italian lagoon.
Each of the two camps demonstrated to defend their positions: as the huge silhouette of the MSc Orchestra loomed over St. Mark’s Square, “No Cruise Ships” banners and avant-garde performers shouted their opposition in small motor boats.
“Cruise ships represent lightning tourism, which actually gives Venice little advantage,” one protester told AFP.
Defenders of the environment and cultural heritage have blamed the large waves created by these ships, which are several hundred meters long and several floors high, for weakening the foundations of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Serenisima. Its pond.
Supporters of united cruise ships in the “Venice Works” movement highlight the many jobs that create their presence for Venice, whose economy is mainly dependent on tourism, which has been particularly affected. During the epidemic.
The MSC Orchestra, which vacated the Greek port of Piraeus on Thursday with about 650 passengers on board, had to submit to a negative test less than four days later and had to undergo a new test to be able to board.
As with most cases of tourists, the ships were kindly presented with strict security measures intended to prevent the spread of real travel.
The MSC Orchestra is only allowed half of its 3,000-passenger capacity, subject to anti-Kovid measures. It should stop at Bari (southern Italy), Corfu (Greece), Mykonos (Greece) and Dubrovnik (Croatia).
During the two-day stop in Venice, the ship was supplied by its on-board crew, who also had the opportunity to improve safety protocols governing daily life on these giants of the seas.
AFP Francisco Gallietti, director of the International Association of Cruise Companies (CLIA), commented: “We are pleased to offer our support to re-launch this city that has suffered so much in the last 17 months.” “In one year, the sector lost 800,000 passengers, a loss of 1 billion euros to the economy.”
The debate over the existence of maritime giants is not limited to Venice and has an international dimension due to the notoriety of this world-famous tourist destination.
On Tuesday, international artists from Mick Jagger to Wes Anderson to Francis Ford Coppola and Tilda Swinton sent an open letter to Italian President Sergio Matarella, Prime Minister Mario Draghi and the mayor of Venice. The “permanent stop” of cruise ship traffic.
This letter A Decalogue for Venice, Signed by former French Cultural Minister Franకోois Nissen calling for better management of tourism flows, protection of the lagoon ecosystem and the fight against real estate ulation hags, to preserve “physical integrity but cultural identity.” City of Dogs.