Are Fashion Houses the new Medici benefactors?

Colosseum under Restoration, Fall 2013

Colosseum under Restoration, Fall 2013

Many of Italy’s great works of art and iconic cultural heritage sites are badly in need of restoration. But with a government in flux, and the Italian economy in a protracted economic recession, very little public funding has been allocated to these projects. Despite a rise in tourism, ticket sales alone are not enough to maintain them. Enter the corporate sponsor.

Tod’s Pledges to Restore the Colosseum

In January 2011, Tod’s (Italy’s luxury shoe and leather bags brand) announced a plan to fund a 3 year restoration of the Colosseum in Rome to the tune of 25 million euros. And not a minute too soon: chunks of stone and masonry have regularly fallen from the arena over the past five years. Already, traffic has been diverted away from the immediate perimeter, and replaced by a pedestrian zone and bicycle path, as the vibrations were thought to be damaging the structure. While four floors of scaffolding now cover parts of the monument’s arches and will remain there for another two years, the site will remain open to visitors throughout the renovation.

Diego-Della-Valle

Diego Della Valle, in front of the Colosseum

So, what does Tod’s get in return? Continue reading