Coronavirus, Italy: Publishing house starts producing masks to donate to Veneto region

Publishing house Grafica Veneta in the northern Veneto region of Italy has converted part of their printing press into a mask production line. Fabio Franceschi, owner of the business, intends to produce two million masks which he will donate to the Veneto region. 

Franceschi told the Italian press that he made the decision to produce and gift these masks to the Veneto because he himself had suffered from a rare illness from which he only just survived. His publishing house, Grafica Veneta, has printed world famous texts from biography of Michael Jackson to the Harry Potter saga. 

After a conversation with the president of the Veneto region, Luca Zaia, Franceschi dedicated several days to the problem of how to transform a printing press into a mask production line. “We dismantled one of the 14 presses, the newest one, a machine that is worth 12 million euros,” Franceschi told an Italian newspaper. 

The masks produced are made of fabric and are intended for general, not hospital, use. They can be worn for an entire day before disposal. 

Franceschi notes that his company have had to postpone the production of an order intended for an American client, but that they have understood the situation. 

In response to why Franceschi is donating rather than selling the masks, he says, “My grandfather always said it doesn’t mean anything to be the richest in the cemetery.”

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Rebecca Ann Hughes

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