By Philip Pullella MILAN, Italy (Reuters) – Environmentalists on Saturday urged filmdiva Sophia Loren to help stop a big cruise ship named in her honorfrom ever entering the Venice lagoon because of potential damage tothe city and the lagoon’s delicate ecosystem. The MSC Divina (Divine), which the actress christened last month inFrance, is a 139,500-tonne ship that can carry 3,500 passengers andnearly 1,000 crew. “We can’t believe that you want your name, which is a legend inItaly and the world, to be associated with a ship that contributesto the destruction of Venice, part of humanity’s heritage,” said anopen letter from the group, called the No Big Ships VeniceCommittee. “We are asking you to give up your role as godmother of the ship.Venice and the world would see that as a divine gesture. Stainless Steel Seamless Pipes
Venicebelongs to the world. Help us save it,” the group said in theletter to the Italian screen legend. A handful of protesters held up a banner that read “No Big Ships”as the Divina passed by St Mark’s Square on Saturday. Since the wreck of the Costa Concordia last January,environmentalists have stepped their efforts to have large cruiseships banned from the lagoon which surrounds the historic centre ofthe canal city. The Concordia capsized off the coast of the Tuscan island of Giglioafter it hit rocks. China Carbon Steel Welded Pipes
At least 30 people were killed and two arestill unaccounted for. That disaster put the spotlight on the Venice lagoon, perhapsItaly’s most delicate maritime area, which big cruise ships enterto drop off passengers conveniently close to the historic centreand the Grand Canal. The letter to Loren said the big ships pollute the air and theirvibrations and the lapping waves caused by the wakes of theirpassage hurt the foundations of historic palaces and churches. “Venice and its lagoon are both world heritage sites and risk anenvironmental disaster every day because of the passage of thesemonsters of the sea,” the letter said. Italia Nostra (Our Italy), the country’s leading conservation grouphas also long been opposing the entry of large cruise ships intothe lagoon. Carbon Steel Seamless Pipe
The Divina has a first-class suite named after Loren which isdecorated with large pictures of the Oscar-winning actress atvarious stages of her film career. (Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Anthony Boadle).