ENRICO GIGI BACCI DIED YESTERDAY
President Alberto Nardi has sent us the following fond statement: --- Remembering him is no easy task, given the affectionate relationship that tied me to him and given our shared aims on the Square, which over the years for me went well beyond the fate of the Associazione Piazza San Marco, to become veneration. The many moments spent together to talk about or organise future events cannot be summed up in a few lines, but remain insolubly linked to a personal, private memory. Despite the age difference between us and our different pathways in life, the thing about him that always struck me was his fighting spirit, which over the years became a declaration of love for his city: Venice. I think that Enrico Gigi Bacci had some genuinely illuminating intuitions about St Mark’s Square. The first and possibly the most important was that of relaunching the Associazione Piazza San Marco after years of inertia, making it, not without effort, into a voice to be listened to and respected by the city and our administrators. All this may seem little, but it is not, given that his ability to convince people of different ideas and to work together is something that requires tenacity and great willpower. So having created this ‘positive lobby’ of St Mark’s Square businessmen must certainly be placed among his most significant merits. The second intuition was that of realising that the many institutions that had a bearing on St Mark’s Square had to be encouraged to sit down together at the same table, to create a super-condominium of the Square where it would be possible to find out about problems and, exchanging information, effectively resolve them. The third and last important intuition lies in the very nature of Venice and its Square: a place of the world or, in the words of Unesco, a ‘world heritage site’. An association that takes its name from St Mark’s Square could thus not be the sole prerogative of the businessmen in the St Mark’s area, but had to be open to all citizens of the world. Since that day half our members have no commercial interest here in the Square, but this does not prevent them wishing to show their love of and closeness to this place, which may be listed among the most beautiful in the world. In years of demeaning politics, Enrico Bacci’s life remains an example of how a citizen who wants to change his city for the better from below should work. Ciao Gigi.