Giuseppe’s Olive Oil Presents The Colosseum

By | Category: Travel destinations, Travel rumblings

Cutbacks abound. Governments everywhere are looking to raise money to pay for the important things. Unfortunately it is the government that decides what is important. You and I might think otherwise. The Italian government needs to pay for maintenance and repairs for the Colosseum in Rome. It is prepared to put up some of the money so they have decided the rest will come from the private sector. In return the private sector will have advertising rights. To the Colosseum. To one of most important sites of the Roman era!
Just as we have the Emirates Stadium and the Volvo Ocean Race, the Carling Cup and the Costa Book of the Year are we now going to have something like Giuseppe’s Olive Oil Colosseum?
This isn’t the first time such a thing has been mooted. In September 2009, the idea was broached and I don’t think anything came of it. A government minister, Francesco Giro, called it a remarkable experiment. It doesn’t seem as though the experiment worked and just like the programming on one of Silvio Berlosconi’s TV channels, we have a repeat.
Tourism is the main reason people visit Rome. Without the heritage of Rome, why go there? So to attract more tourists which means more money for the economy doesn’t it make commercial sense for the government to fund all the work without the necessity of calling it the Pasta Colosseum or the Coca Cola Amphitheatre? The government estimates the whole cost to be about €25 million. And they can’t find the remaining €12-13 million? Not to be able to fully fund one of the icons of Italy suggests a real lack of thought and a dereliction of responsibility.
But let’s suppose that Italy is really that hard up that it cannot find the cash, the World Monuments Fund can’t find it and Mr Berlosconi doesn’t want to fund it privately from his loose change and call it Silvio’s Roman Extravaganza.
Maybe its time to launch an international body similar to Venice in Peril which can raise money for the thoughtful restoration of crumbling Rome structures. We can call it Saving Rome’s Face.

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