Rome launches SOS for historic sites
ROME - Agence France-PresseRome on May 24 issued a 500-million-euro SOS to companies, wealthy philanthropists and its own citizens to help restore many of the Italian capital’s iconic historic sites and avoid the risk of some falling into ruin.
The center of ancient Rome, the Forum, the Circus Maximus and the walls, aqueducts and sewage system of what was once the most powerful city on Earth have all been earmarked as needing help ranging from a relatively minor spruce-up to full-blown structural works.
Saddled with debts of some 12 billion euros, Rome cannot afford to do it on its own. But City Cultural Superintendent Claudio Parisi Presicce told a press conference that he believed the city could call in some of the reserves of goodwill given Rome’s central role in the construction of Western civilization.
Still reeling from a scandal which revealed widespread corruption in the city administration, Rome officials may struggle to convince city residents to put their hands in their pockets for the proposed makeover, admitted Francesco Paolo Tronca, the government-appointed official.
The appeal by Tronca follows a series of successful initiatives which have seen top luxury brands finance prestigious renovation projects in the city.
Fashion house Fendi bankrolled the cleaning of the Trevi fountain, jeweller Bulgari is in the process of making the Spanish Steps pristine once more and shoemaker/fashion group Tod’s is behind a soon-to-be-finished renovation of the Colosseum.