To restore even the smallest flat in Venice is a long and therefore expensive job. Just imagine the expense of the restoration of the buildings in St Mark's Square.
Many years ago whilst the Torre dell'Orologio- Clock Tower-was in the process of restoration, the front of the the building was covered with photo replica. The watchmakers Piaget contributed £150,000.00 to the restoration. Their advertising was discrete.
"The agencies dealing in mega-advertising locations have realised they can exploit a recent change in the law to sell space there and make a large profit, yet they still get called sponsors by the authorities. This law allows the scaffolding on public buildings under restoration to carry advertising so long as the local Superintendent considers that it does not “detract from the appearance, decorum or public enjoyment of the building”—a condition that is clearly not being taken seriously at present."
Indeed, the Superintendent in charge of approving this advertising, Doctor Renata Codello boasts that she has been discriminating, refusing an advert showing an entire Italian football team dressed only in their shorts!
It's easy to mutter cultural vandalism when you see mega advertising stuck on the front of wonderful buildings, but the last word must go to Dr Codello.
St Mark's Square is a site of immense historical architectural importance with a footfall of 30 million a year and associated extended dwell time.
“I have no choice: last year some of the marble facing of the Doge’s Palace fell down; this year it was a bit of the cornice of the Correr Museum.Under law I am personally responsible if a tourist is hurt. With the cuts to the funding of our ministry [25.8% in 2009], I can expect no help from government.”