Witnesses of flood in 1966

The mosaic floor of SS. Maria and Donato Cathedral in Murano

The 'Loggetta' of Sansovino

The lunette of Vivarini

The sun cart

ST. Giovanni and Paolo Hospital

The International Committees folding for the 30° anniversary of The UNESCO Convention. The red points show where find the restored works
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immagine didascalia

Witnesses of flood in 1966


immagine didascalia

The mosaic floor of SS. Maria and Donato Cathedral in Murano


immagine didascalia

The 'Loggetta' of Sansovino


immagine didascalia

The lunette of Vivarini


immagine didascalia

The sun cart


immagine didascalia

ST. Giovanni and Paolo Hospital


immagine didascalia

The International Committees folding for the 30° anniversary of The UNESCO Convention. The red points show where find the restored works


The International Committees

On November 4th 1966  an exceptional case of “acqua alta” combined with an unusually strong Scirocco wind led to the sea bursting the defences of the Pellestrina island and thus wreaked havoc the lagoon , causing huge damage to Venice’s historical and artistic heritage .
The news flashed around the world,  resulting in offers of help from many directions. The Director General of UNESCO, René Maheu, launched an appeal for the creation of special bodies to assist in the recovery and restoration of the damaged monuments .

The result was the setting-up of the International Private Committees for the Safeguarding of Venice. However, once the damage caused by the flooding on November 4th 1966 had been dealt with, these bodies were not dissolved, but continued to promote and fund the restoration of monuments and works of art in Venice and local areas.

Today, some forty years later, the work of these Private Committees have promoted and funded innumerable projects for the city’s most significant monuments: from St. Mark’s Basilica to the Doge’s Palace, the better and lesser known churches and the seats of the “Scuole”, the old confraternite.

There are currently some twenty-seven Private Committees, representing various nations: Australia,  Austria, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Italy, Holland, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.
The British Committee – the "Venice in Peril Fund" -  has, over the course of the years, helped restore the Porta della Carta in the Doge’s Palace, the "Loggetta del Sansovino" at the feet of the St. Mark’s bell-tower, the churches of San Nicolò dei Mendicoli, Madonna dell'Orto, Santa Maria Mater Domini and the Palladian façade of the church of S. Francesco della Vigna.

One American Committee – "Save Venice Inc." – has promoted and funded the restoration of innumerable buildings, including two architectural masterpieces from the Rennaisance, the church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli and the facade of the Ospedale Civile , previously the Scuola Grande di San Marco.
Another American Committee – "Venetian Heritage" – has, among other projects, restored the splendid facade of the church of San Zaccaria, together with the Dutch Committee, responsible for restoring the frescoes by Andrea del Castagno inside the church.
The Italian Committee – Comitato Italiano – has recently completed the restoration of the church of Santo Stefano, while the French Committee has restored the Napoleonic palace of the Procuratie Nuove.
The international organisation "World Monuments Fund" has been involved in restoring the famous equestrian statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni by Verrocchio. Several Committees have combined their forces to promote the restoration of particularly complex buildings and works, such as the one-thousand-years-old Cattedrale di Torcello.
The list goes on and on.

All these activities have been carried out in close collaboration with the Venetian "Sopraintendenze ai Beni Culturali" (the State body responsible for Italy’s cultural heritage) and under the aegis of UNESCO.
It is estimated that, to date, some several dozen million Euros have been raised without the need for any appeals (i.e. not funded by ordinary sponsors), all coming from freely offered donations in each country, in response to a sincerely felt desire to help safeguard the exceptional historical, artistic and environmental heritage of a city that the whole world considers to be one of the highest expressions of human civilisation.

Alvise Zorzi


1800 - 2000  -   - rev. 0.1.14

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