Major Flooding Temporarily Shuts Down the Venice Biennale, But the Show Will Go On

  • November 13, 2019 15:10

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Venice on November 13, 2019
via Twitter @LuigiBrugnaro

Venice mayor Luigi Bragnaro declared a state of emergency after flood tides inundated the city on Tuesday. The result on Wednesday was a temporary closing of the Venice Biennale's 58th edition, Saint Mark's Basilica, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Pinault Collection's Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi, among other cultural sites.

St. Mark's Basilica was flooded for just the sixth time in 1,200 years. Damage to 45 percent of the historic lagoon city is expected to cost in the millions of euros, according to Venice's mayor who tweeted, "Venice is on its knees."

Despite the city's highest water levels in 50 years, and the second highest tides in 150 years, no damage was reported at the biennale. The world stage for contemporary art is set to continue exhibitions. This year's theme is "May You Live in Interesting Times."

Biennale's Twitter account said the Arsenale and Giardini venues planned to open by Thursday. Events are scheduled through the end of the biennale on November 24. 



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