Mayor of Venice sees hundreds of millions of euros of flood damage

The Mayor of Venice Luigi Brugnaro walks on St Mark's Square during an exceptionally high water levels in Venice, Italy November 13, 2019. REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri

VENICE, Italy (Reuters) - The financial cost of severe flooding in Venice is likely to run to hundreds of millions of euros, Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said on Wednesday, while a senior cleric said the city’s historic Saint Mark’s Basilica risked “irreparable” harm.

“The Basilica is suffering structural damage because the water has risen and so it’s causing irreparable damage, especially when it dries out in the lower section of the mosaics and tiling,” Venice Archbishop Francesco Moraglia told a news conference.

Asked about the likely financial impact, Brugnaro said: “it’s in the hundreds of millions of euros.”

Reporting by Ricardo Bastianelli; Writing by James Mackenzie; Editing by Crispian Balmer