Outrage as Coca-Cola gets 1.75m deal to Sponsor Venice
Outrage as Coca-Cola gets 1.75m deal to sponsor Venice... And install dozens of vending machines in the city By Nick Pisa
Daily Mail
February 23, 2009

City officials in Venice have caused outrage by striking a 1.75million sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola.

The plan involves dozens of Coca-Cola vending machines being placed at strategic locations across the city, which attracts more than 20million tourists a year.

Details of the deal were announced by the city council and immediately caused outrage with critics saying Venice was 'selling its cultural soul'.

Officials at the city council said they had agreed to the scheme because they were short of funds and would use the money for restoration work.

They also said some money from the five-year deal would be diverted into flood defence schemes following severe flooding in Venice before Christmas, after an exceptional high tide.

However critics slammed the five-year deal, with Italian newspaper La Stampa saying on its website that Venice had 'sold itself to Coca-Cola'.

It also demanded to know how machines would be situated at St Mark's Square, where there is ban on open air eating and drinking unless at a bar.

La Stampa said sarcastically that machines would add to council funds because 'the more you drink then the more you will need to pay the three euro charge that has been introduced for the public toilets.'

Venice Mayor Massimo Cacciari, said he was 'astounded' by the criticism and added that it was no different from others adopted by the city in the past.

He said:'This is a financial strategy that is simply indispensable for safeguarding our monuments and artistic heritage and is in line with culture ministry guidelines'.

The mayor added that the idea that Venice could be safeguarded 'by philanthropy alone' was unrealistic.

He said:'These idealists who protest against strategies such as (the Coca-Cola deal), which by now have been adopted in all the cities of the world, should have the good taste to indicate an alternative, or, even better, provide for the needs of the city from their own pockets.'

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