Articles worth reading
Image : Montrealers rally to protest against Donald Trump's immigration ban

Montrealers rally to protest against Donald Trump's immigration ban

person Orange Themes access_time Jan 31,2017

Montreal Shooting Montrealers rally to protest against Donald Trump's immigration ban ... the U.S. consulate in Montreal Jan. 30, 2017, to protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order that barring citizens from seven predominantly

Image : Trump speaks with Taiwan leader, risking Chinese anger

Trump speaks with Taiwan leader, risking Chinese anger

person Orange Themes access_time Dec 02,2016

New York (AFP) - President-elect Donald Trump broke with decades of US diplomatic policy Friday and spoke with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, at the risk of provoking a serious rift with China.

Image : GE, Baker Hughes create powerful new player in energy sector

GE, Baker Hughes create powerful new player in energy sector

person Orange Themes access_time Oct 31,2016

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric and Baker Hughes are combining their oil and gas businesses to create a powerful player in an energy sector buffeted by years of weak prices.

Latest blog articles

Businesses step up to help preserve Rome's history

access_time Feb 26,2017 chat_bubble_outline 43 views

Barely a month goes by in Italy without a major archaeological discovery coming to light. For a country built on the remains of Etruscan ports, Roman cities, and ancient Greek colonies, that is no surprise.

The challenge, though, is what to do with the treasures once they are discovered beneath the ground. Italy is still trying to recover from the global economic crisis and struggles to find the money to look after its 51 World Heritage sites – the most of any country in the world – let alone the thousands of other, lesser-known discoveries.

Enter the private sector. In the past few years, corporations have galloped to the rescue of the country’s cultural heritage, collaborating with the State to restore monuments across the country.

It is partly philanthropy – doing something for the good of the nation – and partly commercial savviness; donating money to valuable heritage sites adds prestige to a company’s corporate image.


In the latest example of public-private cooperation, McDonald’s paid for the preservation of a stretch of ancient Roman road that was found when the fast food giant started excavating a patch of land outside Rome for the building of a new restaurant.

When the 2nd century BC paved road was found during digging for foundations in 2014, archaeologists were immediately notified, as Italian law stipulates. They spent the next two years working at the site, at Frattocchie, south of the capital, stripping back the dirt to reveal a remarkably well-preserved 150-ft-long stretch of road paved with basalt stones.

Had McDonald’s not contributed 300,000 euros ($317,000) to the project, the road might well have been covered up again. It often happens in Italy that, because of a lack of State funds, archaeological sites are reburied, on the principle that they stay protected underground.

But with the money from the burger chain, experts were able to create a mini-museum based around the stretch of road. It lies beneath the new McDonald’s and was inaugurated this week.

A glass floor inside the fast food outlet enables customers to peer down on the Roman road as they munch McNuggets and slurp milkshakes. They can then venture underground to walk along the 2,000-year-old highway. The entrance is open to anyone – you don’t need to have bought a cheeseburger and fries.

The road connected with the Appian Way, one of ancient Rome’s most important thoroughfares, which led from the imperial capital to Brindisi on the Adriatic coast.

“This project is a virtuous example of how the public and private sectors can work together towards restoring cultural heritage for the benefit of the community,” says Mario Federico, the managing director of McDonald’s in Italy. “The project was financed by McDonald's and represents a perfect example of coexistence between modernity and ancient culture.”

Stumping up money to preserve the Roman road was part of the burger chain’s “commitment to be integrated into the territories where we operate.”


The Roman road project was unusual in that it involved a corporation paying for the restoration of a newly discovered cultural heritage site.

Most other public-private collaborations in Italy involve companies getting out their check books to spruce up well-known monuments; the more well-known, the better for their corporate image.

The trend started in 2011 when Tod’s, an Italian firm that makes high-end leather shoes and bags, announced that it would pay 25 million euros ($26.4 million) for the cleaning of the Colosseum, the walls of which had been blackened by years of pollution. Bureaucracy and red tape delayed the project but it finally got underway in 2013.

Financing the project was a demonstration of the company’s “integrity” and its affinity with the workmanship that went into the amphitheater, said Diego Della Valle, Tod’s CEO.

The Tod’s deal spurred other companies to come to the rescue of crumbling, damaged monuments.

They were further encouraged by a generous tax break, introduced by the Italian government in 2014, for companies willing to invest in the cultural heritage sector. Named the “Art Bonus,” it allows companies or individuals to claim a 65 percent tax break on their charitable donations.

Fendi, the fashion house, donated 2.5 million euros for the cleaning and restoration of the Trevi Fountain in Rome, where Anita Ekberg famously flirted with Marcello Mastroianni in "La Dolce Vita," the 1960 Fellini classic.

Then Bulgari, the jewelers, gave 1.5 million euros for the restoration of the famous Spanish Steps in Rome, scene of a memorable encounter between Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in the 1953 romantic comedy "Roman Holiday."


Some cultural heritage experts fretted that the firms would exploit their munificence by insisting on plastering their logos all over the monuments.

But that didn’t happen, because the authorities put in place strict regulations on such advertising. On a stroll this week up and down the Spanish Steps, Bulgari’s involvement in the project was barely evident. At the Trevi Fountain, Fendi’s generosity is also discreetly acknowledged, with just a small placard.

Buoyed by these successes, Italy is seeking foreign private money for the restoration of other heritage sites, including the Domus Aurea, a palatial residence in Rome that was built by the Emperor Nero, and a sprawling 18th century palace near Naples which rivaled Versailles.

It seems, so far, to be a win-win situation.

And with the Italian economy growing by less than one per cent a year, and unemployment stuck at more than 10 per cent, there appears to be little choice other than to look to corporations for the salvation of Italy’s unparalleled, but oft-neglected, cultural heritage.

Read this story at

Become a part of the Monitor community

  • Become a Facebook fan!
  • Follow us on Twitter!
  • Follow us on Google+
  • Link up with us!
  • Subscribe to our RSS feeds!
Philippines says German killed on yacht, companion may be Abu Sayyaf hostage

MANILA (Reuters) - Soldiers have found the body of a German woman on an abandoned yacht in the troubled waters of the southern Philippines and suspect her companion may have been taken captive by Islamist Abu Sayyaf rebels, the military said on Monday.The body was found naked and with gunshot wounds on the yacht which bore a German flag and was docked on a remote island in the Sulu archipelago, a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf, an al-Qaeda linked group notorious for kidnapping and increasingly,… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

China expresses concern as Yemen's Houthis form government

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Foreign Ministry has expressed concern after Yemen's armed Houthi movement and its political allies formed a new government, in what appeared a blow to U.N.-backed efforts to end 20 months of war in the country.Diplomats had hoped the Houthis, who control the capital Sanaa, would hold off on putting together a cabinet of their loyalists and instead form a unity government with their Yemeni foes, whom they pushed into Saudi exile.The Houthis, who control territory… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

Actor killed during Brisbane filming

Read on the original site chat_bubble_outline

Turkey could procure missile system if local development takes too long: official

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey could consider procuring a long-range missile defence system from other countries if its plan to develop one locally takes too long, a top defence official said on Tuesday.Ankara last year cancelled a $3.4 billion tender for such a system, after it had been provisionally awarded to China, a move that had sparked concern from the NATO member's Western allies, including the United States.Ismail Demir, Turkey's undersecretary for defence industries, told a news conference… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

2017 wood & wooden product exports tipped to reach $8 billion

Export turnover of wood and wooden products in Vietnam is expected to reach $8 billion this year. Mr. Huynh Van Hanh, Vice President of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association (HAWA), believes export turnover will increase given the development of wood processing enterprises in recent times.Proof of potential is the example of the Thinh Viet Manufacturing Co., which saw no growth in 2016 but has taken significant orders in the first two months of the new year.“The decline in demand in… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

folder_open Assigned tags



Trends in Singapore

Trends in Indonesia

Trends in Philippin