Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018
VENICE

Diesel owner inks deal to restore Venice's Rialto Bridge

English
© ANSA

Venice, May 7 - The founder and owner of the Diesel
clothing brand signed an agreement Tuesday to sponsor the
restoration of Venice's iconic Rialto Bridge.
The five-million-euro project will be overseen by Renzo
Rosso's OTB holding company over the next 18 months, according
to current plans, which were officially announced in December
after years of rumors that Rosso, a native to the region around
Venice, was eyeing the renovation.
"I have to thank him on behalf of all Venetians, but also
on behalf of the entire world, because maintaining this city is
a commitment that goes beyond the city itself," said Venice
Mayor Giorgio Orsoni.
An estimated 20 million tourists trample Venice's ancient
pavement every year, inevitably taking a toll on the
400-year-old Rialto Bridge, which for centuries was the only
foot passage from one side of the Grand Canal to the other.
In 2011 a column on the bridge's railing collapsed, and
some of the marble steps have begun to crack, one of which was
dislodged last summer, closing down part of the bridge.
Calls for donors have become increasingly common across the
country as city budgets have been cut amid Italy's economic
crisis.
In 2011 Diego Della Valle, the founder of the luxury
leather goods brand Tod's, announced he was investing over 25
million euros in the three-year restoration of Rome's Colosseum,
enlisting further help from the Italian business community to
bankroll restoration and conservation plans elsewhere in the
country in the absence of government support.
The most visible example is perhaps French luxury-fashion
mogul Francois Pinault, owner of such lines as Gucci, Balenciaga
and Stella McCartney.
Pinault made a splash in the Venice lagoon with the
purchase of Palazzo Grassi, followed by the acquisition and
restoration of the landmark Punta della Dogana, both of which
house his personal art collection as well as featuring major
exhibitions.
Other fashion labels restoring sites in Venice include
Bulgari, Replay and Palazzetti, in addition to Prada and
Benetton who have recently bought palaces on the Grand Canal for
private use.
"When you make a profit, it's only right to give something
back to culture and society, especially in times like these,"
said Rosso on Tuesday.
"It's not the private sector trying to replace the State,
it's the private sector trying to work with it in dialogue for
the sake of a better world".

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