The Fendi fashion house is financing a $2.8 million restoration of Trevi Fountain in Rome, famed as a setting for the film "La Dolce Vita" and the place where dreamers leave their coins.
The 20-month project on one of the city's most iconic fountains was being unveiled at a city hall press conference Monday.
Chunks of stone and plaster fell from the fountain’s ornate baroque facade last summer, loosened by snow and ice during the previous winter.
The fountain, which was commissioned by Pope Clement XII in 1732, was immortalized in the scene from the Fellini film in which Anita Ekberg waded into its waters in a black evening dress.
Fendi CEO Pietro Beccari said in a statement that the company's sponsorship reinforces its Roman roots.
Italian fashion companies are coming to the aid of Italy's chronically underfunded culture world. The founder of the Tod's footwear company has offered to pay for the nearly $34 million restoration of the ancient Colosseum. Also Renzo Russo, the Italian founder of Diesel, has recently pledged £4million to rescue Venice's famous Rialto Bridge.