Rialto Bridge restoration soon underway
Divers make preparatory cleaning underwater25 September, 19:43
In 2011 a column on the bridge's railing collapsed, and some of the marble steps have begun to crack, one of which was dislodged last summer, closing down part of the bridge.
Calls for donors have become increasingly common across the country as city budgets have been cut amid Italy's economic crisis.
In 2011 Diego Della Valle, the founder of the luxury leather goods brand Tod's, announced he was investing over 25 million euros in the three-year restoration of Rome's Colosseum, enlisting further help from the Italian business community to bankroll restoration and conservation plans elsewhere in the country in the absence of government support.
The most visible example is perhaps French luxury-fashion mogul Francois Pinault, owner of such lines as Gucci, Balenciaga and Stella McCartney.
Pinault made a splash in the Venice lagoon with the purchase of Palazzo Grassi, followed by the acquisition and restoration of the landmark Punta della Dogana, both of which house his personal art collection as well as featuring major exhibitions.
The Rialto restoration is scheduled to last 18 months.