A state of emergency has been declared in Venice, where basillicas, squares and Banksy artwork are underwater. The historic city is dealing with its worst flooding in more than 50 years, Sky News reports. Italy's government declared the emergency Thursday. "It hurts to see the city so damaged, its artistic heritage compromised, its commercial activities on its knees," the prime minister said on a visit to confer with city officials, per NPR. A Banksy drawing of a migrant child wearing a life jacket is covered by water; it surfaced this year on an exterior wall near the Campo San Pantalon, and the artist confirmed it's his work on Instagram.
A new surge hit Friday, per the BBC—a high tide of 5 feet. Schools and St Mark's Square are closed in the tourist destination, and the waterbuses aren't operating. Tourists were walking, with their luggage, along newly installed, raised trestle walkways. About 20 million people visit the city each year. The city's mayor said the damage will be in the hundreds of millions of euros. Weekend forecasts are for the water to recede. (The floods hit "two minutes" after a Venice council rejected taking steps to counter the effects of climate change.)