That sinking sensation

Just been to the Venice Biennale – the world’s top art carnival. The most exciting thing about it was not the art, but the boats. Roman Abramovich’s was about one quarter of a mile long – shiny black like a coffin

and five stories high, it emanated a sense of unease, silently sitting, like a gigantic hearse lapping the sides of the grand canal and surrounded by men in black suits talking into their ear pieces. And then, every day, something even bigger would hove into view that made the Russian ship look like a toy dingy. Dwarfing the cupolas, towers and arcades were the cruise liners, that appeared suddenly, like an Alpine glacier plonked in the middle of the lagoon. They were so vast they blocked out the sky – the heads of the people waving from their top decks as tiny as poppy seeds; their arms, splinters. No wonder Venice is sinking – the wash from such leviathans must uproot the tiny wooden props keeping the whole place up, like a tornado does palm trees.

As I walked across St Marks Square I noticed, for the first time large puddles oozing up through the floor. That’s okay in January when everywhere in Venice is flooded and you have you wear Wellington boots to get about, but not in June.

Venice is dying. And the rich are killing it.