Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018
VENICE

Ex-head of Venice 'Moses' dam project arrested

English
© ANSA

Venice, July 12 - The former head of the consortium
responsible for finishing and running the MOSE ('Moses') system
of dams to protect Venice was arrested in a contract-rigging
probe from northern to southern Italy Friday.
Giovanni Mazzacurati was among 14 people arrested in
Veneto, Lombardy, Friuli, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Lazio and
Campania.
Some 100 people were placed under investigation.
The first phase in the installation of the controversial
MOSE water barrier system in the Venice lagoon to
protect the city from floods was completed last week.
The Venezia Nuova Consortium carrying out the work said a
fourth mobile gate had been lowered into the north canal
in the Lido port waterway where the lagoon meets the Adriatic
sea which is prone to flooding the city during high tide.
In the coming months, the floodgates will reportedly be
raised in tests to verify the effectiveness of the barrier
system, 75% of which has already been completed, the Consortium
said.
The 5.4-billion-euro MOSE project has already been funded
with 4.934 million euros.
The deadline for implementing the floodgates is 2016 but
the consortium said Wednesday that two of the system's four
barriers will be in place by 2014.
Over 4,000 people are working in the project.
Conceived in 1984, MOSE, which in Italian is a play on the
name Moses, has been controversial since its inception with
environmentalists saying it will interrupt the natural ecosystem
and some experts questioning its effectiveness in protecting the
city.
Floods reached chest-high levels several times this fall
and winter, flooding stores and apartments.
Weather experts say the high-water threat has been
increasing in recent years due to heavier rains in northern
Italy, possibly because of climate change.
Other potential causes for the 'acqua alta' phenomenon
include the sea floor rising as a result of incoming silt and
gas extraction in the sea off Venice.
A recent study also claimed that plate tectonics are
responsible as the Adriatic plate is sliding beneath the
Apennine Mountains, causing the whole area to drop in elevation.

photo: Mazzacurati, left, with Venice Mayor Giorgio Orsoni

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