In its latest step to give back to the city housing its headquarters, the Salvatore Ferragamo group on Friday pledged to donate 1.5 million euros, or $1.7 million at current exchange, to fund the restoration of the Fountain of Neptune. The amount will be channeled into the works over a three-year period, until 2018.
“I like to think of our support to Florence’s cultural activities and the restoration of architectural assets as a virtuous partnership between the public and the private sectors, and a way for our family to thank the city and recognize the close bond forged by my father and still in place today,” said chairman Ferruccio Ferragamo. “Everything we have done over the years has been a way for us to express our gratitude to Florence for what it has given us.”
Recognized as the city’s first public water source, the 440-year-old Fountain of Neptune, located on the central Piazza della Signoria, in front of the town hall in Palazzo Vecchio, was originally commissioned by Cosimo I de’ Medici in 1565. Its mythical subject matter and monumental 18-foot proportions made it a powerful symbol of Florence’s nautical mite throughout the centuries. Thanks to Ferragamo, improvements to the fountain will include the construction of a new water treatment system, the revamping of the fountain’s water drainage network, and the removal or replacement of any loose pieces of marble, among other cosmetic and structural updates.
And do note this: Ferragamo’s headquarters have been located in Florence since its foundation in 1927, and the house has always maintained strong ties to its hometown. From then until now, the house has aided efforts to restore the Ponte Santa Trinita bridge, Leonardo da Vinci’s 1503 masterpiece The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, and eight rooms in the historic Uffizi Gallery. Through the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo and the Fondazione Ferragamo, the label has also financed a range of artistic and educational events, cementing its reputation as a safeguard of Florentine cultural identity.
There is nothing left to add, to such a statement. Applause, please.