All nine Mayors of the affected communities – the cities within the Natural Park of the Apuan Alps met this last Tuesday to sound a concerted and in-unison trumpet of alarm, and to ask that the Tuscany Region’s plan to gradually close down all quarries operating within the Natural Park be scrapped. While outside the meeting hall environmentalists gathered and blew altogether different trumpets: the radical arm of the opposition to the quarries set off smoke bombs and blew stadium horns to protest the gathering. The environmentalists asked to be allowed to speak first – and were offered a chance to air their views only at the end – and this was reason enough for an already tense situation to turn melodramatic.
The upshot is that all nine Mayors voted unanimously to have the Region re-evaluate its plan, citing irrevocable loss to the health and economic wellbeing of their constituents.
The quarries – the consortium of businesses operating in the marble extraction in the hills above Carrara – have organized and written letters; in one released last Monday they ask the Region to: “show with due diligence the motivations for the controversial environmental land-use plans just proposed, and to show the communities and the quarry operators, step-by-step, the research and studies so far completed.. because the entrepreneurs and the whole business community have witnessed – in these days – numerous and confused discussions in the press, discussions that are both sterile and devoid of context to the reality on the ground. These same discussions are discrediting the marble quarrying work and the communities themselves. The ‘front’ is lining up, basing its interventions in the media on pure fantasy. There is serious damage being inflicted on the image of the whole community and of the marble companies. All of this must be stopped, as soon as possible” continues the statement, “because a besmirching of the work-model of the marble quarries of the Apuan Alps – which is happening on a national level, is plainly not acceptable.”
And last weekend… a rainy and cold spring weekend, saw the “No Cave” group, the most radical wing of the environmentalist movement fighting for increased regulations to protect the Apuan Alps from the marble quarrying (they call for the closure of ALL marble quarries, not just those located in the Natural Park of the Apuane) took part in the “Sui Sentieri della Distruzione” (On the Paths of Destuction) walk and staged a sit at the peak of Campocecina, this last Sunday. The group set off smoke cannisters (seems to be the weapon of choice…) and placed their “Salviamo le Apuane” (Let’s Save the Apuan Alps) banners o the cold, foggy, and snow-covered mountainside.
Previously on Art is Life:
For some background on the complex issue – both from the “business side” and from an art perspective, see the page, linked here.