Verona's Arena Roman amphitheater

Italian underwear and swimwear giant Calzedonia Group said today it’s financing an international contest aimed at finding the best project for covering Verona’s signature Arena, the Roman amphitheater that hosts public events.

The company has allocated 100,000 euros, or $110,000 at current exchange, for the contest, which is open to architects and engineers worldwide. The winning project will be awarded 40,000 euros, or $44,000, while the second and third place winners will receive 20,000 euros, or $22,000, and 10,000 euros, or $11,000, respectively.

According to the announcement, which will be officially released on March 18, the covering structure must be able to be opened and need to harmoniously blend with the original construction.

“Being very close to the city of Verona, we think that this contest — of course respecting the archaeological and architectural protective restrictions of the monument — represents a great occasion for our city,” said Calzedonia Group president Sandro Veronesi. “Atmospheric agents are ruining the area in a nonreversible way and our main goal is to save the amphitheater, which is part of the country’s cultural heritage.”

Veronesi added that the creation of a movable cover will allow public events, such as concerts and theatrical performances, to be held all year long.

Projects can be submitted until Sept. 9.