In days gone by, the Parthenon has served as a backdrop to photoshoots of Isadora Duncan in Greek drapery and models in 1950s Dior ballgowns, but Gucci’s request to stage a 15-minute catwalk show on the Athens Acropolis apparently proved a step too far for the Greek authorities this week. According to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica
, the Florence-based luxury brand offered Greece’s Central Archaeological Council (KAS) €2m to conserve the ancient site in exchange for permission to hold a show in front of the Parthenon. But in the face of the country’s ongoing debt crisis, the council snubbed the deal, declaring that “the unique cultural character of the Acropolis monuments is inconsistent with this event”. Gucci might have better luck closer to home, as top fashion houses have set a trend for sponsoring Italy’s ailing monuments. Fendi celebrated its 90th anniversary last summer with a couture extravaganza over Rome’s Trevi Fountain—the landmark it recently paid to restore.
This article was updated on 16 February after Gucci denied earlier claims published by La Repubblica and some Greek media sources that it offered KAS €56m.