ITALY AND HER TREASURES BELOVED ONLINE

The crowdfunding platform LoveItaly gathers donations online to support monuments, works of art and archaeological excavations.

In 2017, crowdfunding platforms in Italy raised 41 million euros, 45% more than in 2016 (source: www.crowdfundingreport. it).   The collective gathering of funds online to finance projects of various types has become a reality and this simple and dynamic model is now of interest for the protection of cultural heritage, especially following the fiscal incentives introduced by the legislation known as the “Art Bonus” (2014).  One of the most interesting initiatives in this sense is the LoveItaly platform, founded in 2014 by an international group of professionals from all sectors united by the passion to protect Italy’s monumental and artistic heritage:  archaeologists, art historians, architects joined entrepreneurs, PR, marketing, finance and economics experts.  A group supported by LVenture Group Spa, holding company that participates in digital start-ups, and lead by Richard Hodges, archaeologist, President of the American University of Rome and member of the Executive Committee of the Herculaneum Conservation Project.

SUSTAINING A UNIVERSAL CULTURAL HERITAGE

“All Italy is filled with works of art of universal value and this is why everyone is called upon to contribute”:  Hodges’s words are a guiding mission for LoveItaly which completed three projects in the first three years of activity, gathering a total of almost 80 thousand euros.  The first was the Sarcophagus of the Marine Thiasus (100/200 C.E.) on the stairway of the Galleria Nazionale di Arte Antica in Palazzo Corsini, Rome, which is decorated with a relief of a procession (thiasus) of Tritons and Nereids.  The restoration work was carried out by pupils from the Istituto Centrale per la Conservazione ed il Restauro (Iscr) in Rome, and brought the marble back to its original colouring.  LoveItaly also hosted the first crowdfunding for the Archaeological Park of Pompeii gathering over 50 thousand euros for the restoration of a cubicle in the House of the Centaur.  This Bedroom dating back to the Sannite Period is one of the most ancient structures in the city afflicted by the eruption in 79 C.E., predating Roman colonization, and is decorated and painted with a rare example of the First Style.  The third project was the restoration of a large altar painting by Jacopo Negretti (known as Palma the Younger) of The Ecstasy of St. Teresa d’Avila(1615).  The restoration work gave the painting a new backing and the canvas has recovered its original colours and light.