By Rebecca Ann Hughes • 11 July 2020 • 10:38
The flood-prone city of Venice tested all 78 mobile floodgates for the first time on Friday, in the presence of Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
The system of dams, aptly named Mose, stretches 1,5km over three inlets into the Venetian lagoon.
On Friday, the yellow barriers were raised altogether for the first time, in a 90 minute operation observed by the Prime Minister.
The floodgates aim to protect the fragile city of Venice from high tides, such as the devastating floods in November last year when more than 80% of the city was underwater.
However, the Mose project has been beset by delays and accusations of corruption. Despite being designed in the 1980s, work only began on the project in 2003. The system of dams is wildly over-budget and several officials have been arrested.
Environmental protesters No Mose, who say the flood barriers will damage the lagoon, took to the water on Friday but were met by police boats and jet skis.
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