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VIDEO: Venetian news kiosk swept away by floods found 7 metres underwater

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VIDEO: Venetian news kiosk swept away by floods found 7 metres underwater
Venice suffered its worst floods in 50 years last month. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
16:44 CET+01:00
A much-loved kiosk that stood on one of Venice's main promenades for years until it was swept away in devastating floods last month has been found at the bottom of a canal.

Firefighters used sonar equipment and underwater cameras to locate the distinctive green newsstand, a fixture on the Fondamenta delle Zattere promenade.

They finally found it on Saturday, some seven metres below the surface of the Giudecca Canal.

Video filmed by a diver seem to show the kiosk intact, some of its signs still legible under the waves.

The fire service plans to raise the newsstand in the next few days, when its owner, Walter Mutti, will have to assess whether or not the stainless steel structure is salvageable.

Mutti said he was left "in pieces" after fierce winds and an exceptionally high tide ripped the kiosk from its concrete base on the night of November 12th. He managed to escape uninjured, but reported seeing his stand fly into the canal.

READ ALSO: Venetians raise funds to rebuild much-loved kiosk swept away by floods


Mutti's kiosk just before it was swept away by floodwaters. Photo: Walter Mutti/Twitter

A friend organized a crowd-funding page to help the newspaper seller rebuild, which raised more than €28,000 from hundreds of well-wishers and made Mutti a symbol of Venetians' determination to recover.

Mutti – who until last month had been selling newspapers for 25 years, like his father before him – was invited to meet Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who he says he told: "I've lost my job, but there are so many others who have lost everything."

The friend behind the fundraising effort, Carlo Gardan, says that any extra donations will be offered to other Venetians who suffered in the city's worst flooding in 50 years.

Normality is gradually returning to Venice as the waters recede and recovery begins.

The city on Monday opened dedicated counters around the city where residents can submit their claims for fast-tracked compensation – up to €5,000 for individuals and €20,000 for businesses.

Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of euros have been donated towards the recovery effort by people all over the world, including via a special line created by the Ministry of Culture that collects €2 for every text messages sent to the number 45500.

That's in addition to the €20 million of emergency funds approved by the Italian government.

The mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, has estimated the cost of the flood damage in the "hundreds of millions of euros".

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