Jewish Historic Sites in Venice At Risk as Floodwater Rises in Historic Italian City
Jewish institutions in Italy reported on Friday that the catastrophic flooding in Venice had impacted many of the city’s sites of Jewish interest, including the historic ghetto quarter.
The flooding, which began on Tuesday night, toppled trees and caused some damage at the Jewish cemeteries on the Lido island. It left the main square of the historic ghetto — the Ghetto Nuovo — under water, but did not appear to have caused damage to the historic synagogues, located on upper floors of ghetto buildings, or the Jewish community’s library and archives, according to the Jewish Heritage Europe website.
The Venice Jewish Museum closed temporarily on Wednesday and posted on its Facebook page a dramatic picture of the flooded Ghetto Nuovo. It indicated that there had been water damage to its ground-floor bookstore.
High winds felled trees in both the Old Jewish Cemetery, which was founded in the 14th century, and in the adjoining New Jewish Cemetery, established in the 1760s.
Tuesday’s floodwaters in Venice exceeded 6 feet, or 74 inches, representing the second-highest water level in the city since records began in 1923.
The water level in Venice remained dangerously-high at five feet on Friday. World-famous St Mark’s Square, a magnet for tourists, has been closed, and schools were shut for a third day.
Earlier this week, Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro blamed the flooding on “the effects of climate change… the costs will be high.”