Fendi to fund Trevi Fountain restoration

Fashion house Fendi is to fund the €2.5m restoration of Rome’s Trevi Fountain which suffered structural damage in summer 2012.

The sponsorship deal, agreed between Fendi and Rome heritage authorities, is scheduled to be announced officially at the end of January during the capital's bi-annual fashion show AltaRoma, which is chaired by Fendi boss, Silvia Venturini Fendi. Following a tendering process, the restoration work is due to begin in March and is expected to take at least a year.

The repair work will focus on the façade after fragments of laurel leaves to the left of the baroque fountain became dislodged last June. The culture superintendent Umberto Broccoli believes that freezing weather at the beginning of the year weakened parts of the monument, which dates to 1732, causing it to crack.

Fendi is the latest private sponsor of Rome’s cultural heritage, as underfunded cultural authorities appeal for corporate donors to fund the upkeep and restoration of the capital's monuments.

The most high-profile sponsorship deal in the city is the €25 million restoration project of the Colosseum, funded by luxury shoe firm Tod's. However legal challenges over the awarding of contracts for the work have led to continuous delays.

Yuzo Yagi, a Japanese entrepreneur with business links to Italy, is sponsoring the €1 million restoration of the Piramide Cestia near the non-Catholic cemetery in the city’s S. Paolo-Ostiense district. The project is involves the cleaning and restoration of the 36m-high external walls of the first century BC pyramid, last restored 12 years ago. The pyramid, close to the non-Catholic cemetery in Testaccio, was built as a tomb for the powerful Roman magistrate Caius Cestius.