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Fendi sponsors restoration of Trevi Fountain

- Associated Press - Monday, January 28, 2013

ROME (AP) - The Fendi fashion house is financing a (EURO)2.18 million ($2.93 million) restoration of the 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 unveiled at a city hall press conference Monday featuring Fendi designers Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi, who said the project combined a love of Rome's past with a need to preserve its future.

Rome's fountains, Lagerfeld said, "are there to glorify water, which is the most important thing in life."

It's the latest example of Italian fashion companies coming to the aid of Italy's chronically underfunded cultural heritage. The founder of the Tod's footwear company has offered to pay for the (EURO)25 million (nearly $34 million) restoration of the ancient Colosseum, and Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno said he hoped these two donations were just the start.

"Without similar initiatives, we won't be able to save the cultural memory of our country," he said.

Fendi is also donating (EURO)320,000 to restore another fountain complex in Rome, the Quattro Fontane, bringing its total contribution to (EURO)2.5 million.

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