Florence flood 50 years on: 'The world felt this city had to be saved'

Published on November 4, 2016 2:27 PM | Comments

Great article in The Guardian:

The small attic apartment that Swietlan Kraczyna shared with his wife and baby daughter in Florence did not have heating, but it had a great view of the Arno river. It was nearly dawn 50 years ago on Friday, when the immense sound of water rushing through the three arches of the Ponte Santa Trinita made the artist, who usually worked at night, look out the window.

What followed – the great flood of Florence – would be remembered for decades as the worst natural disaster to lay siege to the city at the heart of the Renaissance. Dozens of lives were lost, great works of art destroyed or nearly destroyed, and a million books in the city’s low-lying Biblioteca Nazionale were submerged.

Kraczyna, who was living on a shoestring at the time and worried about having enough food for his family, grabbed his camera and headed for the streets with just 16 shots left in his roll of film.

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