Rome

Codacons tries to block Tod's from Colosseum restoration

Council of State hearing set for next week

Codacons tries to block Tod's from Colosseum restoration

(ANSA) - Rome, October 4 - Italy's top administrative organ is scheduled on October 12 to hear a challenge to allowing shoe giant Tod's to sponsor the restoration of Rome's Colosseum. Italy's consumer association Codacons has appealed to the Council of State against the Lazio regional government's decision to allow Tod's and its owner Diego Della Valle to sponsor the restoration. Italy's Authority for Public-Works Tenders ruled in February there were no problems with the contract between the culture ministry and Della Valle, which seemed to remove the last legal hurdle obstructing the 25-million-euro contract. At that time, the authority said the contract with Della Valle, "does not appear in contrast with the principles of legality, propriety and transparency of administrative action". However, Codacons continues to challenge the process and, along with some unions, has also objected to Della Valle getting exclusive rights to use the Colosseum logo for 15 years. Della Valle stepped in to bankroll the Colosseum restoration after several other groups dropped out. The businessman has been hailed as a saviour for the ancient arena, whose state of decay has been highlighted by the loss of several pieces of masonry. The Colosseum is close to 2,000 years old and feeling its age. UNESCO has voiced concern over the ancient amphitheatre's state of repair. Della Valle has promised not to put any advertising on the work, in a break with many other recent restoration schemes across Italy. The much-needed renovation of Rome's most famous monument will take two to three years to complete, involves restoring the north and south facades and the underground areas and building a 1,600-square-meter reception area with a bookshop.

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