If Venice Dies

If Venice Dies

Salvatore Settis, André Naffis-Sahely


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“This powerful book of cultural criticism” by the renowned art historian “shines a harsh light on” a historic city’s destruction in the name of profit (The Washington Post).
What is Venice worth? To whom do its irreplaceable treasures belong? This eloquent book by art historian Salvatore Settis urgently poses these questions, igniting a new debate about urban stewardship and cultural patrimony at large. As Venice grows increasingly unaffordable and inhospitable to its own residents, Venetians are abandoning their hometown at an alarming rate. At last count, there was only one local for every 140 visitors.
As it capitulates to tourists and those who profit from them, Venice’s transformation into a lifeless shell of itself has become emblematic of the future of historic cities everywhere. In this blend of history and cultural analysis, written with wide-ranging erudition and élan, Settis makes a passionate plea to secure the soul of Venice.
“Anyone interested in learning what is really going on in Venice should read this book.” —Donna Leon, author of My Venice and Other Essays and Death at La Fenice