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Venice Palazzo runs into roadblock

Film fest's new home plagued by construction woes

The Venice Film Festival has run into a major stumbling block in the construction of its new digs, meaning that the Lido’s eagerly awaited new Palazzo del Cinema will not be built. At least, not as planned.

Builders last year found a layer of toxic asbestos panels buried underneath the construction site. These panels are proving more difficult than expected to remove.

“The new palazzo is in bad shape,” said new Italian minister of culture Giancarlo Galan, speaking on the Croisette.

“We have already spent more than E20 million ($28 million). And we will end up spending $49 million out of a $170 million budget just to dig a hole.”

“That’s a dead road. I don’t want to end up making an incomplete palazzo,” he said.

“But — the culture czar added — I don’t know yet what the solution is.”

As for the future of Venice, not to worry. The Lido has a big fan in Galan, who is a former governor of the surrounding Veneto region.

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