Some days before Dior’s Tiepolo Ball, at the 2019 Venice Biennale, the city’s mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, took care to issue a press release. He claimed he would not be attending the social event of the season due to a “political engagement.” The real reason he wasn’t in attendance that night is because he’d been left off the guest list.

Animosity between the mayor and some of Venice’s oldest families is nothing new. If Brugnaro did feel a slight that evening two years ago, this year’s Biennale might be the stage for his revenge.