Venice Preserved

Peter Lauritzen, Author, Jorge Lewinski, Illustrator, Mayotte Magnus, Illustrator Adler & Adler Publishers $29.95 (176p) ISBN 978-0-917561-17-7
In this handsome book, photos take second place to the story of the restoration of Venice's art treasures and monuments. The 200 photos, 100 in color, are before-and-after illustrations of the city's crisis, to which the world was alerted following the floods of 1966 and 1967. After a lucid precis of Venetian history by noted British arts writer Norwich, who heads the Venice in Peril Fund, Lauritzen describes the longtime conditions that menace the city's existence. Detailing the unique environmental problems exacerbated by poverty and neglect, he focuses on the endangered works of art and architecture and describes the methods used to preserve and restore them. Drama and suspense are inherent in episodes of artistic and legislative blunders, of treasures saved at the brink of decay. A chapter is devoted to the magnificent Golden Horses of San Marco and the international campaign to rescue them. Lauritzen notes that until the interests of ""the Venice of the monuments'' and ``the Venice of the Venetians'' were understood to coincide, little could be accomplished. He documents the role of UNESCO in coordinating the reclamation efforts, but notes that Venetians fear that their city will soon be lived in only by the rich. The important message of this volume is one of hope: ``Venice is now no longer sinking.'' (November 4)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1986
Release date: 09/01/1986
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