Reminiscent of the scenario faced by Detroit, Venice is considering drastic measures to save the sinking city from debt. Again, art is on the line.
Mayor Luigi Brugnaro is tossing around the idea of selling masterpieces in Venice's public museums, which include works by Gustav Klimt and Marc Chagall--to shore up the canal city's finances. Venice is said to have a EUR60 million ($65 million) debt, and several proposals are under consideration to save the city from financial disaster.
The mayor cites the unusual expenses of 23 million tourists, sinking foundations in corrosive salt water, and a loss of casino revenue as contributing to Venice's woes. While the central government pledged in December to give Venice the EUR65 million over seven years, Brugnaro says it's not enough to stay afloat.