Associazione Piazza San Marco
April 23,2013


St Mark’s bell tower has today been officially returned to the city after five years’ work carried out by Sacaim under the supervision of the Consorzio Venezia Nuova, with financing from the Procuratoria di San Marco and the Magistrato alle Acque di Venezia. A ceremony consisting of the removal of the grating that fenced the building site was attended by Giorgio Orsoni, in his double role as primo procuratore di San Marco and mayor of Venice, the president of the Magistrato alle Acque, Ciriaco D’Alessio, the Soprintendente per i Beni Architettonici di Venezia, Renata Codello, the Proto di San Marco, Ettore Vio, the director of the Soprintendenza per i Beni archeologici del Veneto, Alessandro Asta, and the project designer, Giorgio Macchi. In 1937 the bell tower had already begun showing the first signs of new cracks, due to the weight of the building and the nature of the ground. Over the years these gradually widened and could have caused it to collapse again in about 50 years’ time. This led to the decision to appoint the Macchi studio to design a consolidation project. ‘We used an innovative technique’, explained Mr Macchi, ‘applying a frame of titanium bars to the base of the structure arranged on two levels: one at a depth of 3.2 metres, consolidated with blocks of granite, and the other almost on the surface.’ The works also led to some important archaeological finds being made: the foundations of the old Orseolo hospice, demolished in the 17th century, and the banks of the Batario canal, which once crossed St Mark’s Square and had been filled in.