Home News The inglorious end of the mythical warehouses of the North East. From the golden years of furniture, to fires, to Chinese laboratories

The inglorious end of the mythical warehouses of the North East. From the golden years of furniture, to fires, to Chinese laboratories

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CASALE DI SCODOSIA. El capanon. Once a license of wealth, today a burden to get rid of with the least possible damage. Selling it to the Chinese, who have cash in hand, or renting it to some smart guy who then maybe fills it with “scoasse”. And if the buyer is missing, the other solution is to uncover him so as not to pay the IMU.

And to think that the sheds of Casale di Scodosia up to two decades ago were the heart of one of the most luxuriant districts in the Northeast, that of wood and stylish furniture, which fed at least 2,000 direct workers.

Not only that, they were a place for socializing as well as for work: the magnificent allegorical floats of the Veneto Carnival were set up here, the one also led by Pippo Baudo and Mike Bongiorno.


The reflection takes its cue from the news. The other day, the Guardia di Finanza denounced seven Chinese who had 154 fellow countrymen work in five warehouses in Via Nuova. In black or with fake contracts, in defiance of the basic rules of hygiene and safety.

The owner of the walls is a Chinese woman who bought the buildings through a judicial auction: once, furniture was traded there.

Then the wood market became a dying patient and began to lose the organs that had animated it for half a century: the warehouses, the workshops, the paint shops, the warehouses full of real pieces of art. And with them the workers have been lost, from the masters to the apprentices passing through the skilled workers: in twenty years they have gone from 2,000 to 3-400.

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More than a few oriental entrepreneurs, briefcases overflowing with cash in hand, have taken those abandoned spaces. And the news of the week is one of the most frequent developments.

“The truth is that we only see the tip of the iceberg of a much more widespread phenomenon than is believed,” said CGIL Padova yesterday.


Those who failed to sell “el capanon” tried at least to rent it. Some have gone wrong. An example? Michele Missaglia, two years ago, lent his former furniture factory in Via Veneto – founded by his father in the 1970s – to a company that promised to install machinery for processing textile waste.

Moral of the story? The company filled the warehouse with 5,000 tons of textile waste, then the owners disappeared into thin air. The building remained to be reclaimed: cost of the operation, 800 thousand euros, all borne by the owner. And the case of Missaglia is not the only one.


Then there are those who try to save a few euros in taxes. Like? By uncovering the shed, given that without coverage the IMU is halved.

Seven years ago the first to do so was an entrepreneur who had inherited the 1,600 m2 furniture factory directly from his father. With the furniture economy collapsed, he found himself having an inactive warehouse and an annual expense of almost 10 thousand euros in taxes. Burning all the chairs that were in the warehouse, the former furniture maker removed the cover.

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The case became of national significance – even living rooms and TV talk shows talked about it – and apparently it attracted proselytes: just go along Via Veneto and you will find some “brothers” who look at the sky with the appearance of an old mausoleum of the economy wich was.

There was talk of burnt chairs. The other great phenomenon linked to warehouses is precisely that of fire: every year at least two furniture factories go up in flames, and the figure rises if the case history is extended to the district of Scodosia.

Randomness, malfunctions, retaliation or speculation: the police and the prosecutor’s office have their work cut out to dispel doubts, and on some occasions even the reference to eco-mafias has been bothered. You know, they go hand in hand with the economic crises.


If we are discussing warehouses, in Casale di Scodosia we cannot forget the most famous warehouse of all. The one in via Veneto where on 2 April 2014 the Tanko 2.0 was found, the armored and (weakly) armed small tractor with which the separatists of the Alliance (as they called themselves) wanted to return to Venice emulating the Serenissimi of 1997, those of Marcantonio Bragadin.

For months in that shed the combat tractor was assembled, and no one – not even the neighbors – had ever noticed. “They’re making a float for the Carnival,” they used to say. Yes, because in Casale until a few years ago if you met someone on the street you could bet the house that it was both a furniture maker and a tank driver, pride and village identity.

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Let me be clear, in Casale the floats for the Carnival are still made, and there are still many entrepreneurs who make extraordinary furniture and have been able to resist the crisis. The last two disastrous years, however, have done so much harm and left the rubble of a war.

Seeing is believing: just take a stroll through the streets of the industrial area, which seems more like that of a city than a town of 5,000 inhabitants. The “sheds” have resisted the bombs and remain standing, but they are empty and at the mercy of far worse enemies: the god of money, speculation and abandonment.


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