Aki/English > CultureAndMedia > Italy: Court rejects plea to stop Colosseum work paid by shoe billionaire
Italy: Court rejects plea to stop Colosseum work paid by shoe billionaire
last update: July 04, 15:04
Rome, 4 July (AKI) - Work to restore the ancient Roman Colosseum was a step closer to starting after a regional administrative court in Italy rejected a consumer group's plea to stop the work because of possible irregularity in awarding contracts.
The Codacons consumer group sued to stop the work saying hasty awarding of contracts could damage the public. But the Lazio regional court ruled that since no public money was being spent on the restoration project, the complaint had no standing. Condacons said it would appeal, according to Italian news reports.
In January 2011 luxury shoe billionaire Diego Della Valle signed on to spend 25 million euros to fix up the 2,000-year-old amphitheatre where gladiators fought to the death to the delight of thousands in the stands. But bureaucracy and controversy has since dogged the project delaying its start by months.
The owner of shoemaker Tod's threatened to withdraw his sponsorship after investigators in January opened a probe into possible transparency violations into contracts for the work that includes 5 million euros worth of scrubbing away the facade blackened by smog.
The Colosseum is the third most visited cultural site in Europe, after the British museum in London and the Louvre in Paris, attracting approximately six million visitors annually.
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