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Unicredit to help fund restoration of famed Roman amphitheater, the Arena of Verona

  • Verona Mayor Flavio Tosi arrives for a news conference, in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Dec.17, 2014. Verona’s mayor and Italian bank Unicredit have signed a deal to restore Verona’s Roman amphitheater, the Arena, for 14 million euros. The three-year project falls under a government initiative to encourage private donations to restore and support Italy’s cultural patrimony, including archaeological sites, works of art and public theaters. Under the initiative, donors get a 65 percent tax credit. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

    Verona Mayor Flavio Tosi arrives for a news conference, in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Dec.17, 2014. Verona’s mayor and Italian bank Unicredit have signed a deal to restore Verona’s Roman amphitheater, the Arena, for 14 million euros. The three-year project falls under a government initiative to encourage private donations to restore and support Italy’s cultural patrimony, including archaeological sites, works of art and public theaters. Under the initiative, donors get a 65 percent tax credit. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)  (The Associated Press)

  • Verona Mayor Flavio Tosi, left, shakes hands with Unicredit Bank CEO Federico Ghizzoni during a news conference, in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Dec.17, 2014. Verona’s mayor and Italian bank Unicredit have signed a deal to restore Verona’s Roman amphitheater, the Arena, for 14 million euros. The three-year project falls under a government initiative to encourage private donations to restore and support Italy’s cultural patrimony, including archaeological sites, works of art and public theaters. Under the initiative, donors get a 65 percent tax credit. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

    Verona Mayor Flavio Tosi, left, shakes hands with Unicredit Bank CEO Federico Ghizzoni during a news conference, in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Dec.17, 2014. Verona’s mayor and Italian bank Unicredit have signed a deal to restore Verona’s Roman amphitheater, the Arena, for 14 million euros. The three-year project falls under a government initiative to encourage private donations to restore and support Italy’s cultural patrimony, including archaeological sites, works of art and public theaters. Under the initiative, donors get a 65 percent tax credit. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)  (The Associated Press)

  • Verona Mayor Flavio Tosi speaks at a news conference, in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Dec.17, 2014. Verona’s mayor and Italian bank Unicredit have signed a deal to restore Verona’s Roman amphitheater, the Arena, for 14 million euros. The three-year project falls under a government initiative to encourage private donations to restore and support Italy’s cultural patrimony, including archaeological sites, works of art and public theaters. Under the initiative, donors get a 65 percent tax credit. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

    Verona Mayor Flavio Tosi speaks at a news conference, in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Dec.17, 2014. Verona’s mayor and Italian bank Unicredit have signed a deal to restore Verona’s Roman amphitheater, the Arena, for 14 million euros. The three-year project falls under a government initiative to encourage private donations to restore and support Italy’s cultural patrimony, including archaeological sites, works of art and public theaters. Under the initiative, donors get a 65 percent tax credit. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)  (The Associated Press)

Italian bank Unicredit and its charitable foundation have signed a deal to restore Verona's Roman amphitheater, the Arena, for 14 million euros ($17.5 million).

The project will secure the open-air Arena, the world's third-largest Roman amphitheater, against infiltration from rain which has damaged the seating areas, stairs and modern infrastructure like the electrical system.

The deal, signed Wednesday, falls under a government initiative to encourage private donations to restore and support Italy's cultural patrimony, providing donors with a 65-percent tax credit. Verona Mayor Flavio Tosi said state funds alone are insufficient to undertake a restoration of this scale.

The Arena is one of Verona's biggest tourist attractions and the venue for its famed summer opera festival. Some 1.5 million people visit it each year.