Although the expensive public works project to save the Venice lagoon, called Moses, is already under construction, the mayor of Venice doubts whether this system of hydraulic dams will be sufficient to cope with rising sea levels.

Massimo Cacciani predicts that even with Moses in operation, the lower-lying areas of Venice will be under water for four months of the year if global warming causes a rise of up to 40 cm in the sea level in the next 30 or 40 years.

Cacciani is looking for a wealthy patron prepared to invest in Venice. The city has a population of only 80,000 but, in the height of the tourist season, numbers often double; although income from tourism is high, only a small amount goes to the city council, which has to maintain the city services and protect some of the architectural heritage. Like all city mayors in Italy, Cacciani is concerned about imminent cuts in central government funding.