Menace in Venice: Huge cruise ship sparks angry protests
The biggest cruise liner to ever enter Venice caused an outpouring of angry protests this after its arrival on Saturday.
The 140,000 tonne MSC Divinia sailed past St Mark's Square while protestors lined the streets with banners that read "No Big Ships".
The enormous liner can carry more than 4,500 passengers and is named in honour of Sophia Loren, who christened the ship last month in Marseille.
Protestors from the No Big Ships Venice Committee have written an open letter to the Italian actress, calling on her to disassociate herself from the cruise liner, which, they say, "contributes to the destruction of Venice".
According to the Daily Mail, the letter said the huge ships pollute the air, while their vibrations and wave-lapping hurt the foundations of the city's historic buildings.
The MSC Divina has a first class suite named after Loren, with pictures from throughout the actress' career decorating the interior.
It is 330m long and boasts 1,739 cabins, as well as an infinity pool, a host of restaurants, and a casino.
But a spokesman for the No Big Ships Venice Committee said the ship "produces the same amount of pollution in an hour as 15,000 cars.
"Not only that - the pollution contains 15 times as much sulphur as car fumes. That's why we want this huge vessel banned from the lagoon."
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