For the 2013 Paul Mellon Lecture, Anna Somers Cocks will consider the future of Venice. Will it be inhabitable in 2100, and what can be done to ensure its future?
Each year since 2003, the World Monuments Fund Paul Mellon Lecture has been presented in New York and London by leading scholars or specialists in the field of historic preservation. Supported by The Paul Mellon Education Fund, the Mellon lectures often focus on specific monuments, their relation to our contemporary world, and the many ways in which monuments define and enhance our lives.
Anna Somers Cocks
As Chairman of the Venice in Peril Fund, from 2000 through 2012, Anna Somers Cocks helped fund research into the problems facing Venice, including flooding, tourism, and demographic change. Venice in Peril was created after the floods of 1966 in Venice and Florence to restore the city's great monuments and works of art.
Born in Rome and educated at Oxford University and The Courtauld Institute in London, Somers Cocks founded The Art Newspaper, served as its Editor until 2003, and is now Chief Executive Officer. Previously, she was a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, specializing in medieval, Renaissance, and seventeenth-century goldsmiths' work and jewelry.
Anna Somers Cocks is the recipient of numerous honors for her contributions to the arts, including the 2011 Advocate Award from the International Institute of Conservation, the 2006 European Women of Achievement Award, and the 1992 National Art Collections Fund annual prize for her work at The Art Newspaper. She was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2011, and Commendatore della Stella di Solidarietà Italiana by the President of Italy in 2004.
Anna Somers Cocks, CEO of the Art Newspaper and former Chairman of the Venice in Peril Fund, addresses the damage from cruise ships in the Venice lagoon. Cruise planning is overlooked by the current management plan.