Fashion House Fixes Trevi Fountain

January 10, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. degenerate / dɪˈdʒɛn əˌreɪt / (v.) – to fall below an acceptable level of quality
Example: The mansion degenerated after decades of neglect.

2. rehabilitate /ˌri həˈbɪl ɪˌteɪt / (v.) – to restore to good condition
Example: How many years did it take to rehabilitate the castle?

3. fragment / fræg mənt / (v.) – to collapse or break into pieces
Example: Buildings are in danger of fragmenting as they get older.

4. sponsor / spɒn sər / (v.) – to pay for something
Example: Her family helped build her acting career by sponsoring her acting lessons.

5. daunt / dɔnt / (v.) – to be overcome with fear
Example: The amount of work he had to do daunted him.


Read the text below.
Fashion house Fendi successfully restored Rome's Trevi Fountain last November 2015.

Some of Rome's historical landmarks have degenerated through time due to tourist activity. In an effort to reverse the degradation of Rome's monuments, some of Italy's biggest fashion houses have taken it upon themselves to restore the ancient structures in jeopardy. Tod's invested $35 million to restore the Colosseum, while Bulgari initiated the renovation of the Spanish steps. Renzo Rosso carried the burden of rehabilitating the Rialto Bridge, while Fendi restored the Trevi Fountain.

The work began two years ago and proceeded amidst rumors that the aged fountain was fragmenting. It cost around $2.2 million, took 17 months, and required 36 specialized workers, 31 technical engineers and work managers, 27 technicians, and 26 restorers. When it was all over, not only did the fountain have fresh pumps for its water, it also had new lighting to illuminate its stone statues of Tritons and Oceanus. Upon the fountain's reactivation, many tourists threw coins into the water, as it is believed that doing so secures the thrower a return trip.

Not everyone was elated over private companies restoring public architecture, though. One sentiment among critics is that corporations sponsor public projects in return for special favors such as naming rights. This means that there may be a possibility of Trevi Fountain being renamed Fendi Fountain. Criticism, however, has not daunted Fendi from publicizing their accomplishment, and from starting on the restoration of three other fountains in Rome.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What are the advantages and disadvantages of corporations restoring historical buildings? Enumerate as many as you can.
·         Would you allow a private corporation to fix a national landmark in exchange for naming rights? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What famous tourist spots in your country do you think are degenerating?
·         What are the pros and cons of having strong tourism in a country?

January 10, 2016