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La Fenice doesn’t rise out of its ashes for the moment!
If administrative papers could catch fire as quick as the world famous opera house caught fire on that dramatic 29th of January 1996, the Fenice would have regained her former glory since a long time. Bureaucratic hair-splitting made it that a dozen different architects and entrepreneurs gave up, as a consequence that the announced rebuilding—for which thousands of people all over the world assembled 7 billion LIT—is threatened to turn into a bad tasting Italian soap.
In fact, it is an inaccuracy in the building contract output that triggered a tug-of-war between the different companies that wanted to take up the immense challenge to rebuild the Teatro La Fenice.
This juridical imbroglio was only unveiled when “Impreglio”, a big real estate promoter with narrow contacts to FIAT giant had already started the works. What happened? Obviously, the blue print of Impreglio didn’t mention a whole wing of the theatre that was endorsed by the (now charged with embezzlement) “extraordinary building commissioner” of the project, thus making the public tender of Impreglio a lot cheaper thansecond in row. 

Before the fire...

This dispute paralysed the works for more than one and a half year. But even when the Italian-German promoter Holzmann-Romagnoli was designed definitively as new winner, the building could not continue. Romagnoli’s victory was contested in court by “Carena”, third in row, which finally lost its case. But all this fuss and petitions shuttling took another three years!
Last November, finally, decision was taken with two other architects. All these changments triggered radical alterations on the construction spot. Two enormous cranes had to be moved, part of the scaffolding taken away, while a few parts which were already finished and ready for use had to be demolished! Extra costs: 5.5 billion LIT. At this very moment I’m writing the price of a rise of the dead of La Fenice is 102 billion LIT!
Now another problem. In Italy, and that is well known, wherever you dig in the soil, archaeologypops up. The La Fenice spot is no exception: a 13th century pillar and deeper, a floor of gold forges, jewellery and Byzantine cups was found. Nothing exceptional but sufficient to halt the works for another few weeks.
On paper the new Fenice should be ready on the 30th December 2001, on the same location and exactly like it was but with ultra modern decors and security technologies. I have seen the Fenice last Easter, I doubt it very much this date will be respected. I should say it is much more realistic to target summer 2002, like the building company suggested lately.  Like it looks now, nobody dares to compromise himself or herself with guessing.
Next post what I read about the possible causes of the La Fenice fire in 1996.