VENICE, Italy — With Italy considered a possible upcoming ISIS target following the recent Barcelona attack, the Venice Film Festival put tight security measures in place on Wednesday for its opening day, which saw Italian president Sergio Mattarella disembark on the Lido.
Security checks and cement protection barriers to prevent truck attacks were the most visible aspects of the anti-terrorist effort, which also involve floating security devices in the lagoon, plainclothes policemen with body cameras and sharpshooters on rooftops, according to local media.
Paolo Baratta, who heads the fest’s parent organization, the Venice Biennale, said that he is pleased with the security measures. “We are countering the terrorism threat with policemen, cement boulders, and security savvy,” he said.
“The world in general is reacting beyond the most positive expectations with a sort of bold feeling of independence to the terrorism threat,” he added. “Italy is full of tourists. We need to have faith in our institutions and in our selves. And I think that we, like all those who can feel threatened, can be proud of the way we are reacting.”