Gucci, Ferragamo Step In Where Government Fails to Fund Italy’s Museums

Gucci financed the restoration and exhibition of 16th century tapestries. Photo by Getty Images for Gucci.

The fashion industry stepped in once again to help fund ailing Italian museums. This time, Florence-based Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo made major donations, reinforcing their commitment to Italian arts and culture.

On Monday night, the Uffizi Gallery re-opened eight rooms following extensive renovations funded by a €600,000 ($678,702) donation from Ferragamo.

“It’s a great honor for the Ferragamo family and the entire company to have participated in this project,” president Ferruccio Ferragamo told WWD.

“The Salvatore Ferragamo company was founded in the city of Florence and has grown here, gaining worldwide recognition and impetus from the local culture. Sponsoring this important chapter in the Uffizi’s history is yet another way for us to express our gratitude to the city and its people,” he said.

Similarly, Gucci put €340,000 ($384,597) towards the restoration of a series of ten 16th century tapestries for the traveling exhibition “The Prince of Dreams: The Medici’s Joseph Tapestries by Pontormo and Bronzino” which will be shown in Florence, having already traveled to Rome and Milan.

“Today is the final stage of a unique traveling cultural event, which after the success in Rome and Milan, has arrived in Florence, a city Gucci is inextricably linked to and that is the heart of the company,” Gucci executive vice president Micaela le Divelec Lemmi added.

Italian cultural institutions rely heavily on corporate sponsorship and funding to finance the upkeep of crumbling institutions ever since the state slashed arts funding when struggling to cut government spending following the financial crisis.

In August, Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini appointed 20 new museum directors including seven foreigners in an attempt to overhaul the country’s cultural infrastructure.

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