No Venice-style mega-ads on the Colosseum during its sponsored conservation

A campaign against similar ads in Venice led Italian culture minister Sandro Bondi to concede to limit such commercial billboards on historic buildings

The Colosseum

Torino. The maker of Tod’s shoes is putting up €25m for the conservation of the Colosseum, one of Rome’s most famous landmarks.

On 20 January, Diego della Valle, president of the central Italian firm, signed the agreement with the ministry of culture and said to the press: “I will not be erecting ads for Tod’s shoes on the monument”. Roberto Cecchi, the commissioner for archeological Rome, promised that there would be nothing like the vast ads covering the facades of important buildings in Venice.

In October 2010, an international campaign by the Venice in Peril Fund against these ads became a cause célèbre in and outside Italy because it was signed by leading museum directors and by the architect Norman Foster. It prompted the Italian minister of culture, Sandro Bondi, to concede that he would limit the nature and duration of such advertisements on historic buildings.

In exchange for its sponsorship, Tod’s will be allowed to publicise the restoration nationally and internationally, to use the phrase "Sole sponsor of the conservation of the Colosseum" together with its brand names, and to publish the conservation process on its website. The project involves not only the consolidation of the AD72-80 amphitheatre’s stonework, but new lighting, a security system, and the development of visitor services.

The founder of Tod's luxury leather and footwear Diego Della Valle, center, is greeted by Italian Vice Premier Gianni Letta at a press conference at the Colosseum
More from The Art Newspaper


21 Feb 11
16:27 CET


So delighted that the coliseum is not allowed to be covered in advertisements. Unlike Venice, which is a disgrace. Continuing my association with Venice, which began when I lived there in 1951 and 1952, I am appalled by the vulgar intrusions of the 21st century on this most uniquely cultured city. It no longer feels like anything but a museum and tourist trap - its soul has gone and it breaks my heart.

Submit a comment

All comments are moderated. If you would like your comment to be approved, please use your real name, not a pseudonym. We ask for your email address in case we wish to contact you - it will not be made public and we do not use it for any other purpose.


Want to write a longer comment to this article? Email


Share this