VENICE, Italy (Reuters) – Glassblowers within the tiny island of Murano, within the Venice lagoon, have lengthy been famed for the colors and class of their artwork, however a worldwide surge in fuel costs is making it arduous to maintain furnaces open, threatening their survival.
Since glass manufacturing started on the island within the late thirteenth century, the business has survived financial crises and wars, delivering prized tableware, chandeliers and jewelry to the world.
Murano’s glass manufacturing includes some 60 corporations using round 1,000 staff. It was already struggling to get well from the COVID-19 disaster and the sudden rise in gasoline prices characterize a brand new problem.
Fuel costs have risen this yr throughout Europe attributable to low inventories, elevated demand after the easing of COVID-19 lockdowns and Russia not supplying greater than contracted volumes.
“On the finish of September we paid 40,000 euros ($45,488) (a month), in October we have been at 170,000 euros” for a similar quantity of fuel, stated craftsman Cristiano Ferro, who already shut down his furnace.
Rome has put aside greater than 3 billion euros to melt the influence of will increase in retail power payments, however Murano artisans say this isn’t sufficient.
“We devour about 10 million cubic metres of fuel a yr right here … to us, fuel is what water is to others,” stated glass manufacturing unit proprietor Luciano Gambaro.
Glassworker Giovanni Maschietto is much more downbeat.
“I feel all the pieces right here goes to die,” he stated. The federal government does not appear to be doing a lot to save lots of us. Individuals want to purchase bread, not glass, you possibly can’t eat glass.”
($1 = 0.8794 euros)
(Writing by Angelo Amante, enhancing by Gavin Jones and Mike Collett-White)