News from Florence. Gucci, the Florence-based fashion house, has announced that it will donate two million euros to the Uffizi Gallery to restore the Boboli Gardens. Dotted with sculptures, temples, grottos, and fountains, Boboli Gardens is a magnificent park that’s also an iconic attraction in Florence. An impressive example of Italian formal gardens, it dates to the mid 16th century. The Boboli Gardens currently welcome one million visitors a year, though only about 20 of the 33 acres are open to the public.
Uffizi Director Eike Schmidt was quoted as saying that the Boboli Spring project will help restore the garden’s status as “the Italian Versailles.” Gucci’s donation will take place over a three-year period.
As part of the arrangement, Gucci will stage its 2018 cruise show on May 29th in the Galleria Palatina of the Palazzo Pitti, which oversees the Boboli gardens. As artnet reports, this comes hot on the heels of “Greece’s loud refusal to allow Gucci to use the Parthenon for a runway show.” Previously Gucci presented Cruise Collections in New York's Art District in 2015 and in London's Westminster Abbey in 2016.
This is not the first time that an Italian fashion brand has come to the rescue in safeguarding the country’s cultural heritage and monuments. A few years ago, Bulgari helped restore the Spanish Steps in Rome, while Fendi donated $2.7 million to refurbish the famous Trevi Fountain. Tod’s also pledged $34 million to renovate the Colosseum.
As quoted by artnet, Italy’s culture minister Dario Franceschini said of the recent news, “Fashion is also part of our cultural heritage and our history. In our country, taste, elegance, and education in what is beautiful are part of our day-to-day lives.”