Summer has arrived in the northern hemisphere, travel chaos reigns and it may seem that tourists are set on having some so-called “revenge trips”. In any case, it may look like Venice has been hit by a storm of visitors behaving disrespectfully.
In recent weeks, the city has experienced a number of overcrowded tourists, from nude bathing in the UNESCO-protected canals, to vandalizing one of the city’s iconic churches, writes CNN. On the night of May 16, the facade of Redentore Church, designed by Renaissance star architect Andrea Palladio, was vandalized.
See pictures of the vandalism here.
Equation art and graffiti
Part of the church facade, which is built in white stone from the Istrian peninsula, was colored pink with figures that look like equations drawn at the top. The three square meter facade is located under the statue of St. Francis of Assisi, and to the right of the entrance as you go up the famous white stone staircase.
When a local resident tried to clean the facade with water, he must have caused further damage, because the water contributed to the color sinking deeper into the porous stone. The vandalism is now being tackled by state-employed art restaurateurs.
According to the local newspaper La Nuova, another church in Venice, Sant’Antonin, was tagged with graffiti a few days before the Redentore church was allowed to pass. In the meantime, an artist will have completely bright blue paint over a Rio Marin bridge on the Fondamenta dei Garzotti, which is one of the main streets into the city from the train station. It seemed that the word “freedom” was spelled in blue on the bridge.
“They have to pay!”
As if this were not enough, two American tourists decided on Thursday this week to undress and swim naked in a canal in the residential area of Castello. Shocked people among the locals are said to have observed them swimming around for five minutes in the water, where nearby houses empty their sewers, before taking their towels and returning to their Airbnb home.
Surveillance cameras in the area have helped solve some of the problems that have arisen in the popular Italian city. Authorities have already tracked down the person responsible for the vandalism at Redentore Church, accompanied by two friends. The gang participated in a street art event that was held earlier the same day, according to the Venice City Council. Authorities searched social media to see who may have been the culprit, and found a street artist with a special signature on his art, namely equations.
The police are now looking for surveillance footage of the nude bathers. The mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, calls the vandalism a “scar” on the church, which he calls a “symbolic place for Venetian traditions.”
“Those responsible must not go unpunished, they must pay!”, He wrote on Twitter. There he also posted a picture of the vandalism on the Rio Marin bridge and wrote: “It will take hours to restore the bridge, at a cost we can not yet calculate. We should keep these barbarians in a cell for at least a couple of nights.
Keep yourself updated. Get a daily newsletter from Dagsavisen