Luxury giant Salvatore Ferragamo has pledged €600,000 to renovate eight rooms at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, WWD reports. “We wanted to do something significant for the city that welcomed our father in 1927,” said current company president Ferruccio Ferragamo.
The gift will allow one of Italy’s best-known museums to refurbish the rooms and organize the display of masterpieces by the likes of Filippo Lippi, Pietro Perugino and Piero di Cosimo. Inscribed in the institution’s ambitious remodeling program, the gift will also contribute to an upgrade of the air treatment and security system.
The announcement comes at a time of real concern for the future of Italy’s artistic heritage. It was recently revealed that Rome’s Borghese Gallery was forced to open its windows in hopes of reducing the humidity in its gallery, as the air conditioning system broke down and no funds were available to replace it.
Pompeii is particularly at risks. While Italy released €2 million in emergency funding for the site following the collapse of part of the Temple of Venus caused by heavy rain, the country’s new prime minister, Matteo Renzi has called on the private sector to be more involved with the arts.
Other luxury giants have recently committed to major projects. Last year, Tod’s pledged €25m to restore the Colosseum in Rome in return for the right to use its image. But the Ferragamo donation isn’t an ordinary sponsorship. It is a “legal disbursement,” which doesn’t grant the company any benefits in terms of communication or marketing.
“With a liberal disbursement, communication is left to the administration,” explained Cristina Acidini, Florence’s superintendent to the historic and architectural patrimony, “and we wanted to make it known, as an encouragement and an example.”
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