The city of Venice is considering building a four-foot glass wall to protect the historic St. Mark’s basilica from future flooding.
The plan, which Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported has already been approved by city officials would hopefully protect the church from erosion, similar to what it experienced in November when floods caused an estimated $5.5 million in damage to the cathedral. Most of the damage to St. Mark’s is invisible to the casual visitors, but church officials say that salt brought in with the waters of the flood is eating away at the church’s marble, mosaics and floors.
The glass walls would be installed in the place of current iron railings that keep visitors from the basilica. Once a more permanent solution can be found, the glass could easily be removed.
The Piazza San Marco in front of the basilica is one of the lowest points in the city and prone to flooding during Venice’s annual acqua alta.
The proposal still needs approval from the Venice heritage authority and public works committee before it can proceed.
The glass wall would be another line of defense for the cathedral as Venice investigates other ways to protect its monuments against rising floods and sinking foundations.
The city is still working on its long-awaited Mose flood barriers. The multibillion-euro infrastructure project has been delayed several times over cost overruns and corruption scandals.