Roman architect Nicola Salvi’s masterpiece, the Trevi Fountain (picture), built between 1732 and 1762, is in serious need of a major overhaul, and with the city’s coffers for cultural projects nearly depleted, fashion house Fendi has stepped in to foot the €2.12-million ($2.85-million) bill for the sculpture-filled fountain’s restoration.
“The restoration of the Trevi Fountain is a demonstration of the importance of public-private collaborations,” Rome’s mayor Gianni Alemanno said during a press conference with Fendi creative director Karl Lagerfeld, AFP reports. “There’s a need for a new system of cultural patronage.”
The tourist attraction’s top-to-bottom revamp will include the cleaning and restoration of marble and limestone sculptures, replacing the tin awning over the fountain, waterproofing the basins, and installing a new video surveillance system. The work will take some 20 months, and is due to be completed by 2015 in the very unlikely event that it stays on schedule.
“It’s a terrific idea and a great project,” Lagerfeld said. “It’s a symbol of Rome on the same level as the Colosseum or St. Peter’s.” On the occasion of the Trevi repairs project, Lagerfeld will be publishing a book of Daguerreotypes of Rome’s fountains.
The Trevi Fountain was immortalized in this famous scene in Frederico Felini’s “La Dolce Vita”:
— Benjamin Sutton
(Image via Trevi Fountain/Facebook.)