The following news story has virtually no relevance to Gates of Vienna’s mission, although it does involve Portuguese cultural enrichment in Italy. But I couldn’t resist it, especially the headline.
This post is dedicated to Afonso Henriques (who, as we all know, would never do such a thing himself).
According to ANSA:
Venice Mayor Nabs Canal Peeing Man
Cacciari responds to criticism of city upkeep
(ANSA) — Venice, July 28 — Venice Mayor Massimo Cacciari caught a man peeing in a canal Monday night and told him off before calling the police, the mayor said Tuesday.
“I saw a gentleman peeing in a canal and took the liberty of telling him that he probably wouldn’t do so in his living room,” Cacciari told reporters after a series of polemics Monday over the upkeep of the city.
“I then called the city police to clear things up”.
The Portuguese tourist was fined 50 euros.
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On Monday the regional governor of Veneto, Giancarlo Galan, and Civil Service Minister Renato Brunetta, a Venice native, accused Cacciari of not doing enough to preserve the city.
Brunetta said the mayor had “sold out” to corporations, casinos and tycoons by leasing art sites and allowing huge advertising hoardings while Galan claimed there were too many rats, seagulls, discarded bottles.
The centre-left mayor hit back by accusing the conservative politicians of electioneering ahead of an upcoming vote for city hall.
He noted, for instance, that seagulls were now common in all seaside cities, including New York, but acknowledged that Venice needed more funds to keep up its recent ‘urban decorum’ drives.
Cacciari has launched campaigns to clean monuments, stop tourists snacking in the historic centre, and rid St Mark’s of its pigeons.
But the mayor has long bemoaned a lack of state funds for the upkeep of city monuments and has turned to private sponsors.
Earlier this year there was an outcry when the media reported a deal with Coca Cola to put vending machines around the city.
The contract has since been put out to tender, while authorities have stressed the machines will not be near historic landmarks. Cacciari warned in February that Venice’s monuments and churches risked falling into ruin because too much state aid is allegedly being directed into a controversial project to protect the lagoon city from sinking.
Hat tip: Insubria.