The Colosseum has been sold!
Not quite. Diego Della Valle, owner of the Tod's brand of shoes, is footing the 25M Euro bill for the restoration of the monument.
Every few years the local news has been reporting of some rich American, Russian or Chinese tourist wanting to purchase and transfer the Colosseum abroad, with the locals having a good chuckle talking about it over a coffee.
But the jokes are turning into reality and nightmare for the proud Romans. The Colosseum is not being sold to the yanks but its restoration sponsored by the private sector. More specifically, by Diego Della Valle, owner of, amongst other things, Tod’s shoes.
The deal will not allow Mr. Della Valle to set up shop amongst the Colosseum’s arches but there will be subtle reminders that the crumbling walls have been saved by pricey his loafers. Read up more about the deal on Reuters’ website.
Rome’s mayor has managed to fix a major problem without digging into public finances – quite a result – and the Colosseum will not be dismantled and shipped to Texas. Given the economical situation in Italy, most people will be happy about the deal.
The Colosseum will not be closed down during the two year long restoration, which is also much appreciated.
A much bigger concern these days is that another local icon has been sold off. AS Roma, the local soccer team, has been sold to an American tycoon called Thomas DiBenedetto.