As Italy’s relics slowly crumble, fashion companies like Prada, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton are scrambling to contribute funds to save them. But in some instances, the gesture comes with a price. When Tod’s founder Diego Della Valle agreed to hand over $34 million to restore Rome’s most famous ruin, the Colosseum, the city agreed to compromise the treasured relic’s image.
According to details of the agreement between Della Valle and Rome mayor Giannia Alemanno and other city officials, the transaction gave Tod’s the right to use a logo of the monument on its products for up to 15 years, stamp its own logo on entry tickets, and the right to cover restoration works with the Tod’s logo, the Telegraph reports. Tod’s officials and their guests also get exclusive access to the Colosseum. Two groups are protesting the agreement. On Monday Codacons, the country’s consumer protection organization, expressed their displeasure, and Italy’s antitrust authority agreed that same day, citing “a series of distortions” in Tod’s bid and “a lack of detailed projects” as cause for concern, according to WWD.
Tod’s issued a response Tuesday, maintaining that it is not seeking to profit commercially from the sponsorship and that it would not plaster the landmark with its advertisements. Let’s hope Tod’s keeps its promise and refrains from tainting Rome’s star monument.