Mayor defends Venice as 'wheelchair-accessible'

City chided by Bernardo Bertolucci after film fest

Mayor defends Venice as 'wheelchair-accessible'

Venice, Spetember 17 - Almost four fifths of Venice is accessible to the disabled, according to fresh data released by Mayor Giorgio Orsoni, in the wake of recent criticism over how the physically impaired are able to move around the lagoon city in Nothern Italy. "About 78% of the surface of the city is accessible to everyone", Orsoni said. "I think it is out of place to say that Venice is not accessible to the disabled". Critics, including acclaimed international director Bernardo Bertolucci who recently visited the city in his capacity as head of the Venice Film festival jury, claim the area makes life very difficult for those with mobility issues. Bertolucci uses a wheelchair. Orsoni said he disagreed with recent comments made by Bertolucci, who had "evidently let himself go to say things that show he only has a superficial knowledge of the city".

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