Citizens of Mediterranean Historical Towns: Keep cruise ships away!
VENICE. Statement from Gruppo 25 Aprile following the accident in Venice when a cruise ship crashed into a dock, hitting a moored tourist boat.
Following the accident in the Giudecca Canal in the historical centre of Venice, Gruppo 25 - member of the Network of Citizens of Mediterranean Historical Towns, of which Corfu San Giacomo Association is also a member - has requested from the authorities that measures be taken to protect UNESCO Heritage Sites:
"A few years ago a cruise ship from the same company (MSC) which was moored by the Old Town destroyed the pipelines between Dubrovnik and Lokrum Island whilst attempting to avoid an accident in the strong winds. The ship's anchor destroyed telephone lines and electrical and hydraulic conduits causing 30,000 Euros damage to the island per day.
These incidents make it clear that, apart from the environmental impact, these huge cruise ships are a direct threat to our communities.
The cities of Dubrovnik and Venice, which both suffer from the mismanagement of mass tourism, need to take immediate action to safeguard their way of life, their residents, the ecosystem and cultural heritage.
Up to now, not even UNESCO World Heritage has been able to secure the adoption and implementation of a management plan that takes into account the carrying capacity of each location.
As members of the Network of Citizens of Mediterranean Historical Towns, which also includes the UNESCO protected islands of Corfu, Cyprus, Crete and Rhodes, we call on all those responsible to finally take a decision to keep the huge cruise ships at a safe distance from the fragile ecosystem of the Venetian lagoon and the historical centres of Dubrovnik and other towns and islands that have been recognised as World Heritage Sites."