Rome seeks foreign money to restore cultural artifacts
ROME — Rome's mayor met with a group of foreign diplomats on Monday in an effort to raise about $271 million to help restore some of the eternal city's most neglected artifacts.
Mayor Ignazio Marino told the assembled diplomats from around the world that Rome's cultural treasures should be considered heritage “for all mankind” and asked for their help in starting a foundation to manage cultural sites.
The foundation would oversee the cataloguing of 100,000 boxes of excavated Roman-era artifacts and restore the unkempt gladiator training grounds next to the Colosseum, among many other projects on the mayor's wish list.
“There are so many archaeological findings, we can't even keep them all in a closed space,” he said.
The initiative is the latest in a string of efforts to seek outside funding for conservation in Rome and other cities amid economic troubles in Italy.
In recent years, Italian luxury companies such as Tod's, Fendi and Bulgari have stepped in, donating large sums to restore top attractions in Rome. Leather goods maker Tod's has pledged the largest contribution, putting $34 million toward restoring the Colosseum.
In 2009, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi took leaders of the Group of Eight countries on a tour of earthquake-hit monuments in L'Aquila, encouraging them to help pay for restorations.
Marino said he had already had “serious discussions” with people from Azerbaijan, the United States and Saudi Arabia, who he said have shown support for the new project.
British ambassador Christopher Prentice also expressed support, but warned “there are many examples of places where money was committed by European funds where there is no apparent activity or result out of it.”
Others said they were worried about Italy's reputation for public waste. They noted that Pompeii has suffered from chronic mismanagement and corruption issues.
Marino said he was hoping to secure funds from private companies and investors “with an interest in cultural heritage.” He said he was inspired by the involvement of the private sector in conservation in the United States.
“In the U.S., a lot of people donate money because they believe it's the right thing to do,” he said with a smile.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Militants attack Egyptian army checkpoints in Sinai, kill 53
- Greek default drama plays out
- Indonesia plane crash death toll 141 as search effort ends
- NSA targeted 3 French leaders, WikiLeaks says
- Effort under way to beat Tuesday deadline for nuclear agreement
- Kuwait mosque bomber slipped security watch in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain
- Smoking ban appears to be cause of 15-hour Australian prison riot