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Could cruise ships be banned from Venice?

Could cruise ships be banned from Venice? Local officials will be discussing the topic this week amid growing worries about the industry’s impact on the historic city, according to Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper.

“The problem of these juggernauts of the sea needs to be confronted,” Venice mayor Giorgio Orsoni told the newspaper, according to a translation today in the Telegraph of London.

Orsoni says the growing number of cruise ships sailing out of Venice could be transferred to Porto Marghera, a port on the mainland of Italy not far from Venice, the news outlet reports. The proposal has the backing of Italy’s new environment minister.

The Telegraph says opponents to cruise ships in Venice are worried that the vessels’ wakes are damaging the city’s foundation. The number of cruise ships visiting Venice nearly tripled between 2000 and 2007, the news outlet says.

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The Telegraph quotes one famous Venetian, Harry’s Bar owner Arrigo Cipriani, as saying he’d like to see every cruise ship passenger charged 50 euro (about $67) to set foot in Venice.

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