Duomo seeks Russian cash for €15m restoration

The organization responsible for the restoration of Milan’s iconic Duomo has travelled to Russia in an attempt to secure a €15 million investment to restore the monument in time for the 2015 Milan Expo.

Duomo seeks Russian cash for €15m restoration

The ‘Venerable Factory of the Duomo of Milan’, the 600-year-old organization dedicated to the cathedral’s maintenance, preservation, and restoration, has begun its search for foreign investors to spruce up the monument in time for the 2015 Milan Expo.

To this effect, the organization’s president Angelo Caloia, has travelled to Russia to seek a €15 million investment in the restoration project.

According to the organization, Russian tourists currently account for 654,500 (13.9 percent) of the cathedral’s five million visitors each year.

The organization hopes that the renovation will be complete in time for the 2015 Expo, when a boom in visitors from all over the world is expected.

The second most popular nationality is American, accounting for 10.75 percent of visitors each year. Germans are the third most common tourist, making up 6.88 percent of visitors.

“We need 15 million more euros,” Caloia was quoted by the Italian news website Leggo as saying, “even though our subscriptions are increasing (25 in the last ten months) for the ‘adopt a steeple’ initiative”.

See also: Submarine stunt baffles Milan

Renovation work would include cleaning, restyling the counter-façade and securing the 135 spires of the cathedral.

“We would like a Russian contribution, a donation to Milan on the occasion of the Expo. We hope that one of the 138 participating countries can help us,” Caloia added.

Caloia will also travel to New York and Washington in a bid to snap up more tourists and sponsors for the cathedral.

The Duomo, which took six centuries to complete, is the fifth largest cathedral in the world and the largest in Italy. 

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Romanian billionaire and seven others die in Milan plane crash

A light aircraft piloted by Romanian billionaire Dan Petrescu crashed into an empty office building near Milan on Sunday, killing him, his wife and son, and all five others aboard.

Police and rescue teams outside the office building where a small plane crashed in the Milan suburb of San Donato.
Police and rescue teams outside the office building where a small plane crashed in the Milan suburb of San Donato on October 3rd. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

The single-engine Pilatus PC-12 had taken off from Milan’s Linate airport shortly after 1pm headed for Olbia in the north of the Italian island of Sardinia.

It crashed just a few minutes later into a building in San Donato Milanese, a town southeast of Milan, according to aviation agency ANSV, which has opened an investigation.

Witnesses said the plane was already in flames before it crashed into an office building undergoing renovations.

Petrescu’s 65-year-old wife, who also had French nationality, and their son Dan Stefano, 30, were killed.

Italian media identified the other passengers as entrepreneur Filippo Nascimbene, a 33-year-old from Lombardy, with his wife, young son and mother-in-law, who have French nationality.

Petrescu, 68, was one of Romania’s richest men. He headed a major construction firm and owned a string of hypermarkets and malls. He also held Germany nationality, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.

Flames engulfed the two-storey building, next to the yellow line subway terminus.

“The impact was devastating,” Carlo Cardinali, of the Milan fire brigade, told news agency Ansa.

Deputy prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano was quoted by Corriere as saying that the plane’s black box had been recovered.