Vast ads in Venice, Our appeal to the Italian Minister of Culture
Among those supporting the Venice in Peril appeal to Minister Sandro Bondi are: Lord Foster OM; Mark Jones, director, The Victoria and Albert Museum; Glenn Lowry, director, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Neil MacGregor, director, British Museum; Lars Nittve, director, Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Mikhail Piotrovsky, State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg; Malcolm Rogers, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Martin Roth, Director General, Dresden State Museums.
We appeal to the Italian government to change the legislation that permits huge advertisements on the scaffolding of public buildings. Only 10 years ago, Venice was a city without large advertisements. Today, they are proliferating. They hit you in the eye and ruin your experience of one of the most beautiful creations of humankind. Their scale dwarfs the fine detail and proportions of the buildings, and now that they are also illuminated, you cannot escape them even by night, when they are the hardest, brightest lights in town by far.
We ask you to imagine the disappointment that the 17.5m visitors to Venice this year will feel. They come to this iconic city with an image of it in their mind's eye and instead they see its famous views grotesquely defaced.
To those who say that the money the advertisements bring is necessary to restore those buildings, we remind you that after the great flood of 1966, when Venice was in a much worse state and Italy a much less rich country, no one contemplated using this method to raise funds.
Other ways of financing restoration must be found, otherwise Venice is doomed to be covered in advertisements for the rest of its life because its buildings will always be undergoing work due to their great age and the environmental fragility of the city.
Finally, we remind you that Venice is a Unesco World Heritage Site and that a preceding government of Italy undertook to protect its essential nature in perpetuity when it accepted this nomination.
We invite you to send in your comments firstname.lastname@example.org