The iconic Trevi Fountain, one of Rome’s oldest and most revered tourist attractions, will soon be getting a face lift, thanks to Fendi. The Italian-based fashion house is sponsoring an estimated €2.18 million (US$2.93 million) restoration of the fountain. In addition, Fendi will sponsor a restoration of the Quattro Fontane, the "Four Fountains," another attraction in Rome, for €320,000 (US$430,000), bringing the overall Fendi donation to €2.5 million (US$3.4 million).
The Trevi project is expected to last about 20 months, but will be conducted in stages so tourists can continue to visit the landmark. Locals and tourists toss coins into the Trevi Fountain as a fabled wish to return to Rome again.
Pietro Beccari, Fendi's chairman and CEO, states that the sponsorship is about reinforcing the brand's historic links with Rome, where it started as a modest handbag and fur shop in the years between the world wars. "There is an element of giving back to the city that has hosted us since 1925," he said.
Fendi’s Creative Director, Karl Lagerfeld, states, "It's a great idea. It's a great project, because this fountain is famous in all the world, like the Colosseum or St. Peter's, and I'm happy that we can all help." Lagerfeld will be producing a series of photographs of famous Roman monuments to accompany the renovation.
Fendi is only the latest Italian fashion company to step forward with financial aid for the country's cultural heritage. The news follows last year's announcements of a €25 million (US$33.6 million) restoration of the Colosseum being financed by Tod's, and a €5 million (US$6.73 million) restoration of Venice's Rialto Bridge by Diesel.
The Fendi restoration of the Trevi Fountain will be commemorated by Fendi logos on signs during the restoration period, and a small plaque of appreciation upon completion. The project is expected to be finished by 2015, and the fountain will not be closed to visitors during that time.
For more information, visit Fendi.