After five years of negotiation, the Benetton family finally got the green for turning an 18th century palazzo in Venice into a modern megastore. Edizione Property, the family’s real estate holding company, had purchased the historic Palazzo Fontego dei Tedeschi back in 2008, but the city’s council only gave their permission for the project this year.
After having purchased the 101,507 square foot building with approx. $84million, the investors are ready to spend €18 million (about $23 million) more on restoration and renovation, so we can only expect the new store to be really impressive. Even though many fashion enthusiasts will be excited to hear the news, most local people are very disappointed with the decision. Eco and cultural conservationists have made it pretty clear that they did not want to see the building trivialized this way.
However, the mayor of the city, Giorgio Orsoni, declared that this decision was an excellent one for Venice, adding that its inhabitants “will see an important part of the city reborn.” He also gave his ‘political blessing’for using huge floodlit posters of Bulgari, Coca Cola and Rolex over the majestic palaces of the Grand Canal.