Roman authorities calling on 'patrons' to help fund restoration of monuments

Fashion houses and business magnates are among those who have already supported projects in the city

roman, authority, restoration, monuments, ancient, fountains

The newly restored Trevi Fountain. Image: Gregorio Borgia / AP/Press Association Images

The city of Rome is calling on companies, individuals and even other countries to help fund the restoration of some of the city's ancient sites and monuments.

Rome's city council - which The Guardian reports is in debt of more than €12bn - has issued the appeal to any 'patrons' willing to help provide some of the hundreds of millions of euro the authorities say is needed to help fund restoration and maintenance projects.

€15 million worth of 'charitable contributions' are already said to have been put towards the maintenance and restoration of monuments, archaeological sites and the city's iconic fountains.

The luxury fashion house Fendi is said to have funded projects to help restore the Trevi Fountain and Quattro Fontane. Other fountain projects are said to have been bankrolled by Uzbek business magnate Alisher Usmanov and Brioni fashion.

The excavation of the first stretch of the Aqua Alexandrina received money from the Republic of Azerbaijan, as did work on the Hall of the Philosophers in the Capitoline Museum.

The city now says major excavation work is required at the ancient archeological sites of Oppian Hill and the Largo di Torre Argentina square, as well as several other locations in the city. The Roman Forum is among the famous sites requiring work.

Funding of more than €171m is also said to be needed for other monuments in the city centre and suburbs, as well as more than €25m for the restoration and subsequent maintenance of 80 fountains.

Associated Press suggests presitguous sites such as the Colosseum can easily find sponsorship, but funding for less iconic monuments is harder to come by - hence the current appeal. Patrons are said to be able to receive a 65% tax credit for "donations in support of culture".

The city's cultural superintendent Claudio Parisi Presicce, quoted in The Guardian, says the appeal for sponsors comes because “we need new strategic ideas. We have to create a link between the people living above the modern city and the ancient city that lies beneath them."