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UNESCO: cruise ships may prove damaging to Venice

UNESCO urged the Italian government to restrict the access of cruise ships to Venice United Nations cultural body UNESCO urged the Italian government to restrict the access of cruise ships to World Heritage Site Venice in the wake of the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster.In a statement, Paris-based UNESCO said it had called on the Italian government "to restrict access of large ships to culturally and ecologically important areas, particularly Venice and its lagoon which are visited by some 300 large cruise ships a year."It said cruise liner traffic in Venice "is particularly damaging because of the fragile structure of the city."The ships cause water tides that erode the foundations of buildings. They contribute to pollution and impact the cityscape as they dwarf monuments in the heart of the city," UNESCO said, according to AFP.The Costa Concordia had 4,229 people on board from more than 60 countries when it hit rocks and keeled over earlier this month, prompting a chaotic evacuation that included a fight for life jackets and life boats among panicked passengers.At least 15 people were known to have died in the accident as of Monday and 17 people were still missing.Amid efforts to eventually pump out hundreds ...

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Cruise ships could be shut out of Venice over erosion fears

Giant cruise ships could be shut out of Venice amid fears that the waves they create are eroding the As the sight of gleaming white passenger ships dwarfing the palaces and churches of the World Heritage-listed city becomes ever more common, there are growing calls for restrictions on where they are allowed to dockGiorgio Orsoni, the mayor of Venice, is to meet the head of the city's port authority, Paolo Costa, on Wednesday to discuss the problem."The problem of these juggernauts of the sea needs to be confronted," he told Corriere della Sera newspaper.He said cruise ships could be transferred to Porto Marghera, on the mainland, in order to minimise their environmental and aesthetic impact on Venice.The proposal has the backing of Corrado Clini, Italy's new environment minister, who is a member of the recently-installed technocrat government led by Prime Minister Mario Monti.Environmentalists and heritage groups have long pointed out that as cruise ships plough through the shallow Venetian lagoon, their powerful wake and undertow damages the fragile canal banks, wooden piles and mud banks on which the city rests.There has been a huge increase in the number of cruise ships visiting 'La Serenissima', as Venice is known, from 200 ...

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