Friends, Romans, & Corporations: Help restore Rome’s ruins and monuments

Friends, Romans, countrymen! Oh yes, and countrywomen. And people in far-flung nations. Everyone, basically. Rome, Italy is seeking all the sponsors it can find to fund the monumental job of restoring and maintaining its hundreds of fountains, statues, archaeological sites and historic palazzos.

Restoration experts have long bemoaned that prestigious monuments like the Colosseum readily find sponsors while less famous monuments in dire need of repair go begging for patrons.

Perennially short of funds to properly care for the sprawling, two-millennia legacy of art and history, city officials offered their thanks to corporate sponsors of ambitious restoration projects.

Among them are luxury goods companies Fendi, which has been sponsoring work to restore splendor to several famed fountains, including a tourist favorite, Trevi, from the ravages of pollution and pigeons; and Bulgari, which is sponsoring restoration of the Spanish Steps in the heart of Rome’s most chic shopping district.

Officials said the nation of Azerbaijan has helped to restore a room of the Capitoline Museums, while lighting that has made the boulevard flanking the Imperial Forums a popular romantic evening stroll was paid for by Unilever and Acea, a local utility company.

But Rome is hungry for more such generosity, corporate and otherwise.

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