Venice tourists swim naked in canals, vandalize church

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Summer in the Northern Hemisphere is heating up, travel chaos reigns and tourists are determined to make some”revenge trips“.

In Venice, this creates a “perfect storm” of misbehaving visitors.

In recent weeks, there have been a number of tourist transgressions in the city, from naked diving into canals preserved by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) to vandalism of one of the city’s iconic churches.

On the night of May 15-16, the facade of the Redentore church – designed by Renaissance “star” Andrea Palladio and site of perhaps the city’s most famous festival – was vandalized.

A part of the facade – built of white Istrian stone, which was part of the Venetian empire when the church was built – was painted pink, with what appeared to be an equation scrawled on top.

The area of ​​three square meters is below the statue of Saint Francis of Assisijust to the right of the entrance as you ascend its famous white stone staircase.

A local who tried to clean up the graffiti is said to have done more damage using water, which helped the color penetrate deeper into the porous stone. Now the problem is being addressed by art restorers hired by the government.

It follows the vandalism of another church in Venice, Sant’Antonin, which was spray-painted a few days earlier, according to local newspaper La Nuova.

Meanwhile, another self-styled artist has poured bright blue paint over a bridge on the Fondamenta dei Garzotti, one of the city’s main streets from train station. It seemed to spell the word “freedom.”

And on Thursday night (26), two American tourists decided to undress and dive naked in a canal in the residential neighborhood of Castello.

Shocked residents watched them swim for about five minutes in the water – to where nearby homes drain their sewage – before drying off and returning to Airbnb.

Surveillance cameras helped solve some of the problems. Authorities have already located the person responsible for vandalizing the Redentore church, accompanied by two friends.

They were part of a street art event that took place earlier in the day, according to the city council. Authorities scoured social media to see who could be the culprit and found a street artist whose sole job is to create equation-style designs.

Now, police are looking for CCTV footage from cameras looking for the divers.

Mayor Luigi Brugnaro called the vandalism a “scar” on the basilica, which he called a “symbolic place of Venetian traditions”.

“Those responsible must not go unpunished, they must pay!” he wrote in a Twitter post, calling for more powers to be given to the justices of the peace.

Posting a photo of the damage to the Marin River bridge, he added: “It will take hours to restore at a cost we cannot yet calculate. We must keep these barbarians in a cell for at least a few nights.”

“Enough of this mess,” the mayor wrote after another incident – ​​a religious statue being destroyed in Marghera, on the mainland of Venice. “The city must be respected”.

Source: CNN Brasil

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