LA SCALA OPERA HOUSE
Asbestos lowers the curtain at world famous La Scala Opera House in Italy
Asbestos removal project temporarily closes upper gallery at 18th-century La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy.
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ASBESTOS NEWS BULLETIN
September 3, 2009 - The world famous La Scala opera house in Milan has had to close its uppermost seating gallery to allow for the removal of asbestos.
Commissioned by Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, La Scala opened in 1778 and has become one of the world's most recognized opera houses. Many of the best known names in Italian opera have had their works performed there, including Bellini, Rossini and Verdi.
The asbestos removal project is expected to be finished by October and will be carried out during the night so that rehearsals and performances can go ahead as scheduled. Health officials were monitoring the situation and reportedly found no evidence that the asbestos fibers had spread.
A spokesman said the asbestos was found last December in a very limited section of a lighting area near a ceiling cornice. About 270 seats have been affected.
The project is being undertaken as the opera house prepares to reopen after a summer break with the ballet “A Midsummer's Night Dream.” La Scala’s official season begins on Dec. 7.
Why is asbestos dangerous?
Asbestos is a dangerous carcinogen that kills thousands of people around the world every year.
Regular contact with asbestos, such as occupational exposure, can lead to various diseases, including asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma, the deadliest of asbestos-related diseases.
Some 3,000 people die of mesothelioma every year in the United States.
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