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Italy turns to China to fund historic restoration


Italy, arguably the country with the densest collection of historic and artistic treasures from ancient times and the Renaissance, is offering tax breaks to Chinese companies willing to help fund preservation and restoration projects.

The offer is being made to Chinese companies that maintain offices in Italy and could benefit from the breaks on their other business. Italy's Culture Minister Dario Franceschini is in China now, to pitch the new system, which can offer tax relief up to 65% for investing in under-funded cultural sites.

Among the prime targets for work:  Emperor Hadrian's summer villa outside Rome, the Etruscan tombs of Cerveteri, the Greek temples in Agrigento and the former residence of the Bourbon kings of Naples in Caserta, Campania.

Other projects including the Trevi Fountains, Spanish Steps and Colosseum in Rome, have been funded by companies in the fashion industries.

Photo: Hadrian's Villa (Camelia.boban / Wikimedia)

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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GarryRF has a point about what Italy can afford, but this plan does not outsource would result in hiring Italians to do the actual work.

Another question that comes to mind: if Italy, or a other country, can't afford to prevent the deterioration of its cultural heritage of world significance...should we all chip in to avoid the loss? How might that work?

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

The European Union has withdrawn cultural and tourism funding from Italy - after the southern regions of Sicily, Calabria, and Campania failed to spend hundreds of millions of EU money.

The funds were taken back after they didn’t spend the money before the deadline, at the end of 2015.
Last edited by GarryRF
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