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The President of the Republic

Against the construction of the so-called ‘Torre Cardin’ and for the preservation of the Venice Lagoon.

Mr. President,

A grave offence to the Constitution threatens Venice, its environmental integrity, landscape, nature and history—a heritage that we must protect so that it can be passed on to future generations. We turn to you as he who interprets and defends the words and principles upheld in our Constitution.

In a paper entitled ‘Save Venice’, Simone Weil identifies the authenticity of the city’s roots as follows:

‘It is a human environment, one of which we are more aware than the air that we breathe. Contact with nature, with the past and with tradition.’

Every city should share these values. The ‘contact’ to which Weil refers is lessening due to the citizens’ increasing confusion and uncertainty as regards their right to enjoy the Venice lagoon.

The fact that the construction of such a monumental building on the lagoon’s shores, so close to the historical centre of Venice, is considered reasonable by the managers of public institutions proves their inherent lack of cultural feeling. Furthermore it proves their indifference to Venetian history and landscape, both of which would be irreparably damaged and disfigured should this project go ahead (it is our obligation to protect and safeguard this history and landscape, according to the Constitution and law).

Mr. President, we are talking about the construction of an inappropriately tall building, over 250 metres high (and therefore entirely at odds with the rest of Italy), on the site of the old industrial area of Porto Marghera. Admittedly this area needs much dedicated work in order to a reverse a decade-long decline. However it certainly does not require a ‘winner takes all’ move to achieve this. This kind of move would result in the construction of a building that would become an economic and financial “predator”.

It goes without saying that all of the above is happening outside the parameters of the rules and customs set out in land law. Everything is happening without compliance to the territorial practices and procedures for planning and therefore amounts only to speculation. It is by no means certain that the construction will spur an economic, social and cultural revival in the Porto Marghera area.

Those who support the construction of the colossal tower have similar motivations and political alibis as those who caused the devastation of historical sites – urban and rural – in many areas of Italy during the so-called period of “necessary abuse of power”.

The construction of the tower would go against a ruling made recently by the Supreme Court (in the context of fish farms in the Venice lagoon), in which it was asserted that safeguarding the landscape and supporting human activity is for the common good (see Articles 2, 9 and 42 of the Constitution).

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