The archbishop said rising water is causing “irreparable damage” to ancient mosaics
Two people have been killed as a result of the flooding, and damage is estimated to run to hundreds of millions of euros. Saint Mark’s Basilica is among the historic buildings threatened.
“The Basilica is suffering structural damage because the water has risen and so it’s causing irreparable damage, especially when it dries out in the lower section of the mosaics and tiling,” Venice Archbishop Francesco Moraglia told a news conference, as reported by Reuters.
This marks the sixth time St. Mark’s Basilica has been flood in 1,200 years, but the fourth in the last twenty years, according to The Guardian.
The flooding comes after days of rainy weather which raised water levels to their highest level at just over six feet, second only to the historic flood of 1966.
The present-day building of St. Mark’s began in 1063, and the church was consecrated in 1094, after the body of St. Mark the Evangelist, which Venetian merchants stole from its tomb in Alexandria, Egypt, was placed under the high altar. Work on mosaics, which depict scenes from the Bible, began in 1071, and cover an area of 8,000 square meters.
If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.
Here are some numbers:
- 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
- Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
- Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
- Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
- Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
- We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)
As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.
Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!