What to do with our in­dus­trial her­itage?

Country Life Every Week - - Athena - Cul­tural Cru­sader

TOW­ER­ING above the Arse­nale in Venice lies a spec­tac­u­lar piece of Bri­tish en­gi­neer­ing that is slowly rust­ing away for want of funds to save it. The Arm­strong Mitchell hy­draulic crane is the world’s last sur­viv­ing ex­am­ple of nine leviathans that were pro­duced for naval dock­yards around the world, of which four were in­stalled in Italy.

After Ital­ian uni­fi­ca­tion in 1861, the new na­tional gov­ern­ment com­mis­sioned a fleet of war­ships us­ing the lat­est tech­nol­ogy of iron hulls and coal-fired steam en­gines. This ne­ces­si­tated the mod­erni­sa­tion of the coun­try’s ship­yards and docks, not least in the Arse­nale, the epi­cen­tre of Vene­tian mar­itime power since the 12th cen­tury. To ser­vice the new gen­er­a­tion of

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