Unforgiveable Assault on a World Heritage Site

A World Heritage Site designated to protect the villas of the great 16th century architect Andrea Palladio is under double assault, first from a proposed new motorway which will run within hundreds of metres of historic villas and farmsteads, and second from rapid and widespread construction of vast new cappenoni (brutes of warehouses) in open countryside.

The proposed new motorway, the Valdastico Sud, has been approved by the Italian Government despite objections from the Ministry of Culture and the Sovrintendenze [official monuments service] for both Archaeology and Heritage. It is the subject of legal challenge arising from the fact that 23 out of 36 members of the official Environment Commission were replaced after they rejected the proposals as being too damaging. The new members of Commission promptly approved the route of the road with only minor modifications.

Save Europe's Heritage condemns both the motorway and the rampart building of factories, warehouses and showrooms in hitherto unspoilt fen countryside. The flat fenland south of Vicenza flanked by beautiful hills is of immense historic interest having been the subject of complex drainage and irrigation works since Roman times. Though the Veneto Region (Regione Veneto) has a statutory duty to draw up landscape plans protecting sensitive or valuable landscape it has so far failed to take action.

Save Europe's Heritage report 'Unforgiveable Assault on a World Heritage Site' calls for the plans for the Valdastico Sud motorway to be withdrawn pending a full independent assessment of the breach of standard European environmental assessment procedures for major infrastructure projects. Secondly it calls on both the Regione Veneto and the Italian Government to put an immediate stop to random building of factories, sheds and showrooms in open countryside and to draw up and implement proper landscape plans for the protection of the fenland country south of Vicenza.

Copies of the report are available for £5, postage included from: (cheques and credit cards accepted)
Save Europe's Heritage
70 Cowcross Street
London EC1M 6EJ.
Email: save@btinternet.com
Tel: Adam Wilkinson +44 207 253 3500