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The Venetian skyscraper that may make the Italian city even worse

Excerpt from The New York Review of Books

Jun 15, 2013 11:06 am

Skift Take

It’s hard to imagine how Venice could be ruined more than it has been by rampant tourism, poor regulations, and a total lack of a local identity that’s not in the service of selling luxury goods or kitschy mementos of a once great destination.

— Jason Clampet

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Fortunately, the €1.5 billion investment will probably not be found, but if it is, the City Council of Venice will be giving permission in July for an 820-foot-high skyscraper (130 feet taller than the Tour Montparnasse in Paris) to be built on the mainland behind Venice, about six miles from St. Mark’s Square.

The mayor, Giorgio Orsoni, assures us that the building will not spoil the skyline of Venice, but The Art Newspaper, of which I am the founding editor, published a photomontage based on calculations of what it would look like from the Lido, the strip of land opposite St. Mark’s Square separating the lagoon from the Adriatic. The skyscraper looms up, two thirds the height of the campanile of St. Mark’s, and would ruin the iconic (appropriate use of the word here) view that we all have in our mind’s eye.

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