For years, Italy has struggled to finance the preservation of its ancient monuments, sites that are treasured world heritage sites. The country began to seek outside private investors to assist with the staggering sum. Tod’s, for example, is to foot the bill for the restoration of the Colosseum’s facade- a decision that hasn’t gone without criticism.
Now Newsweek reports that other famous Italian fashion houses are jumping onboard. Bulgari is donating $2 million to help restore the Spanish Steps in Rome, while Fendi is committing $2.7 million to renovate the world-famous Trevi Fountain. In an article titled "Can Fashion Save the Coliseum?," Newsweek makes the parallel to the “Victorian philanthropists of the great industrial age.” The 2008 global financial crisis has virtually eliminated public budgets and funding for culture, and so the fashion houses are stepping up to the plate. Needless to say, the PR opportunity for these brands is priceless. To quote the official press release describing Fendi’s donation: “The historic Roman fashion brand boasts a deep bond with the Eternal City and has always looked to it for endless inspiration and cultural stimuli.”
Image of the Trevi Fountain via Wikimedia/MatthiasKabel