Rome seeks private sponsorship for restoration projects

Rome appeals to Italian and foreign sponsors for €500 million.

Rome's outgoing commissioner Francesco Paolo Tronca has issued a €500-million appeal to private donors and companies to sponsor the restoration of the city's historic sites.

Tronca, who is due to step down following the upcoming mayoral elections, says the cash-strapped capital cannot afford to undertake all the necessary restoration works without the help of private investment.

Tronca says that €500 million is required to "preserve the heritage of the city" and would be spent on the restoration and maintenance of monuments, fountains and squares.

In collaboration with Rome's cultural heritage superintendent Claudio Parisi Presicce, the city has drawn up a "shopping list" of 100 costed projects, aimed specifically at philanthropists and businesses.

The most significant sites requiring restoration funds include the Colle Oppio, Largo Argentina, Teatro Marcello, Ara Coeli, the Mausoleum of Augustus, the Roman Forum and Monte Testaccio.

The appeal by Tronca follows recent successful restoration projects in Rome funded by private businesses, such as the Colosseum paid by shoe magnate Tods, the Trevi Fountain by fashion house Fendi, and the Spanish Steps by luxury jeweller Bulgari.