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)