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Opinion
Ferdinando Giugliano

Venice Floods Are a Sad Tale of Bureaucracy and Corruption

Yes, climate change is to blame for the worst flooding since 1966. But the management of the MOSE flood defense project has been pretty abject.

Drowned world.

Drowned world.

Photographer: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP

The floods in Venice that have killed two people and damaged hundreds of buildings including St Mark’s Basilica appear inexorable.

The city is a fragile treasure built on 118 islands off Italy’s northeast coast. In a way, it’s a miracle that Venice has managed to survive and thrive for more than 1,000 years. It built a naval and commercial empire and created an immense collection of palaces and churches, full of priceless paintings, to which an estimated 20 million tourists flock every year.