Painting By Philip Colbert

To coincide with the Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini’s visit to Venice for the 57th Biennale, all the main environmental associations and community groups have come together to express their shared and deep concern for yet another preposterous proposal for cruise ships in Venice. The city is united in opposition to dredging channels in the lagoon and to the passenger terminal for cruise ships remaining in the city centre.

Cruise ships are literally killing Venice. They are a major source of air pollution and the tip of the iceberg in terms of the mass tourism that is drowning the Venetian civilization.

In the 5 years since the Italian government committed itself to finding a solution to the monstrous problem of these gigantic sea-faring condominiums passing through the heart of the city and mooring amongst Venetian people’s homes – nothing has been done except waste time on a series of senseless plans involving damaging dredging in Venice’s delicate lagoon. All these plans, not least the current favourite involving re-opening the Vittorio Emanuele channel would irreversibly damage Venice’s fragile ecology, pose further risks to the city’s architecture and leave unchanged all the existing social, economic and health issues associated with the passenger terminal in the city centre.

We are here Venice is an NGO dedicated to improving the quality of information used to make the decisions that will determine the future of Venice.

Good artists are vital for emotionally transmitting this knowledge and we are grateful to Philip Colbert for his fantastic painting “Stop the madness” that highlights the foolishness of allowing Venice to remain so vulnerable to cruise ship traffic.