By  on January 17, 2014

MILAN — The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele here is at the center of an investigation by the Court of Auditors.

Earlier this month, the city’s municipality received a letter from the tax court asking to provide the documents related to the new lease contracts signed with Versace, which will open a store in a space previously occupied by high-end silverware and tableware vendor Argenteria Bernasconi, and with Prada. The latter label will expand its presence in the shopping arcade, incorporating two windows of the adjacent Ricordi Media Store, along with its mezzanine floor, in order to open the Fondazione Prada’s exhibition space.

The aim of the investigation is to verify if the municipality reported a loss of revenues by reassigning the commercial spaces in the Galleria without any tender notice. Neither Versace nor Prada are being investigated.

“The opening of an investigation by the Court of Auditors automatically follows the filing of a petition,” said Daniela Benelli, town councillor for the state land administration, referring to the center-right party’s opposition to the city’s reassignment of the spaces without requesting general proposals. “We are sure about the proper handling of this operation, which brings various and relevant benefits to both the city itself and the municipality.”

According to Benelli, the new lease contracts will allow the city’s municipality to get 5 million euros, or $6.8 million at current exchange, more than it previously received. In addition, Versace, Prada and Feltrinelli will donate 3 million euros, or $4 million, to clean the gallery.

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