On Tuesday Dario Franceschini, Italy’s Minister of Heritage, Culture, and Tourism, announced that the superior council for cultural assets and landscape has committed €80 million (~$87 million) to 12 major cultural projects.
On this week’s art crime blotter: selfie-taking vandals at the Colosseum, former Vatican worker holds stolen Michelangelo letter ransom, and ISIS mounts cyber attack on Midwestern crafts museum.
A 42-year-old Russian tourist visiting Rome was arrested and fined €20,000 (~$25,000) for carving a “K” nearly 10 inches tall into a wall inside the Colosseum, the first century CE amphitheater.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and it’s taking even longer to restore. Marred by age, pollution and a poorly placed subway line, the Roman Colosseum’s restoration was supposed to be funded by Diego Della Valle, the president and chief executive of the Italian shoe firm Tod’s, but legal troubles and protests may force the shoe designer to rescind his €25 million offer.