(ROME) -- Rome’s famed Colosseum is now covered in scaffolding as long awaited -- and controversial -- renovations get underway.
Because of government cutbacks, Italy doesn’t have the cash to pay the $33 million cost of repairing the crumbling ancient monument. So, the country’s top luxury shoe company, Tods, is footing the bill instead.
The sponsorship plan was first announced three years ago, but work was blocked by a lawsuit by Codacons, which argued that Italy had temporarily sold the monument and its symbol for a song. The consumer group lost the lawsuit but is appealing.
In the meantime, those who manage the Colosseum say they’re relieved the desperately needed renovations are finally underway.
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