Vespa Grande: need new air filter?

Hanky B /
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I just purchased a 1979 Vespa Grande, and after removing the black plastic panel that goes on top of the frame/gas tank I found what i think is a broken air filter. It's a white plastic rectangular box sitting right behind what i'm pretty sure is the carb (little new to this). Anyway, the back of the white plastic box had a big chip missing with a spongelike foam showing through. actually it was duct-taped so you couldn't see the foam. Is this something that needs to be fixed? If so, where do i get the parts and how should i go about doing it? thanks a bunch for helping out.

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