St Mark’s Basilica in Venice damaged by metre-high flood

St Mark’s Basilica is one of the many victims of the series of storms that hit Venice this week.

The landmark tourist destination was flooded under nearly a metre of water, which damaged part of the 1,000-year-old marble mosaic floor in front of the altar of the Madonna Nicopeia, a 12th-century icon.

The baptistry and the Zen Chapel (named for Cardinal Giambattista Zen who died in 1501) were also flooded and the basilica’s bronze doors and columns were damaged.

“In a single day, the basilica aged 20 years, but perhaps this is an optimistic consideration,” says Carlo Alberto Tesserin, head of the board responsible for St Mark’s Basilica.

In the Basilica’s 926 year history, there have been only five floods as severe. The high water mark in Venice reached over 1.5 metres on Monday with an “acqua alta,” or high tide, covering 75 percent of the city.

Some officials think the city could have been protected by a massive flood barrier which is not yet complete.

The long-delayed, decade-long, seawall project is meant to block rising waters and threats from global warming.

Cost overruns and bureaucratic delays have contributed to slow progress on the so-called “Moses Project.”

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News category: World.

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