MILAN — Fendi has written another chapter in its enduring love story with the city of Rome.
The brand and the Parco Archeologico del Colosseo, the institution ensuring the protection and valorization of the city’s central archaeological area, announced the completion of the restoration work of the Temple of Venus and Rome, one of the most iconic monuments of the Roman Empire.
The revamp was possible thanks to the donation of 2.5 million euros by the fashion house, which first pledged to sponsor the works in 2019, when it also held its couture show at the site to further mark its commitment.
The largest building of ancient Rome, the site stands out for its architectural design, which combined Hellenistic proportions with Roman construction techniques, creating an innovative configuration. The name nods to the two opposed worship cells defining the site: the cell facing the Colosseum was dedicated to Venus Felix, goddess and mother of Aeneas, progenitor of Augustus and therefore of the imperial family; the other facing the Capitol was dedicated to goddess Roma Aeterna, sacred personification of the city and its domain over the territories of the Empire.
The fashion house’s director of accessories and men’s wear Silvia Venturini Fendi underscored that the site “holds special memories for me and for so many others around the world.”
“The Palatine Hill and its surroundings lie at the very heart of our Roman mythology — it is the spiritual birthplace of our city and a site of great historical significance. You can feel it in the air, and as the sun goes down on the Temple of Venus and Rome on the edge of the Velia Hill in the evening, there’s a moment where time stops and the buzz of modern life fades into the background,” she said.
Taking 15 months and the effort of more than 60 professionals, the restoration works involved both the architectural and the decorative complex of the two cells, from the roofing to the surfaces, up to the floors. A lighting intervention has also been carried out to complete the revamp and enhance the image of the monument thanks to light beams outlining the ancient walls and highlighting the volumes of the cells, the design of the floors and the ceiling coffers, among others.
To mark the completion of the project, the special tome “Il Tempio di Venere e Roma,” published by Electa, will be released next month. Featuring a raw canvas cover with bronze laminated graphics intended to recall the colors of the monument, the volume will include a rich photographic reportage combining archival imagery with photos taken during the restoration process, as well as shots of the Fendi Couture fashion show held in the cell of Venus in July 2019. The book will retail for 50 euros.
”Thanks to Fendi, the largest known temple of ancient Rome, dedicated to Rome Aeterna and Venus Felix, is returned to its former glory and the volume we are publishing also valorizes its universal significance from a scientific point of view,” said Alfonsina Russo, director of the Parco Archeologico del Colosseo institution.
“Through this collaboration we reach a very high moment of synthesis of Italian identity focused on the charm and beauty of places and monuments that dialogue harmoniously with contemporary creativity, of which Fendi represents one of the main excellences,” Russo added.
The fashion house is not new to patronage initiatives. The company has previously shown its love for Rome through the restoration of the Trevi Fountain, which began in 2013 and was completed in 2015 — followed by a couture show held at the location in 2016.
The brand has been additionally investing in the Fendi for Fountains project, which includes the restoration of the complex of the “Four Fountains” and the preservation of the fountains del Gianicolo, del Mosè, del Ninfeo del Pincio and del Peschiera.
In 2015, Fendi gave back to the city the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in the EUR district, which it chose as its new headquarter. Here, the company hosted in 2017 an exhibition of contemporary art for the first time, a solo show by Italian artist Giuseppe Penone titled “Matrice” and curated by Massimiliano Gioni.
The collaboration with Penone continued a few months later with the installation of a great sculpture the brand commissioned and installed in Rome’s Largo Goldoni, in front of Fendi’s flagship. Intended as a gift to the city, this donation marked the first time a significant contemporary artwork was installed permanently in the public spaces of the Italian capital.
In 2017, Fendi also inked a three-year partnership with Rome’s Galleria Borghese, supporting the exhibitions showcased at the venue, while the following year the tie with the world of art was cemented through the support to the artwork and performance “Revenge” by artist Nico Vascellari, realized at the city’s MAXXI museum.