Mayor of Florence, Italy seeks aid as coronavirus halts tourism

Fox News correspondent Amy Kellogg on what Florence, Italy, is doing to raise funds after losing revenue to halted tourism.

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Florence, Italy, Mayor Dario Nardella is pushing for international funding to protect the city’s historical landmarks while tourism is down due to coronavirus.

Nardella said it’s important the world has access to Florence – the “cultural capital” — and aims to make a plea to patrons and investors to provide funding.

“Florence needs the world and the world still needs Florence,” Nardella told FOX News' Amy Kellogg. “Because we are not a simple city, a normal city, we are [the] international, cultural capital."

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Nardella said international donors will be deemed ambassadors to Florence and will have a say in cultural developments. The city plans to first work with China to raise funds since Nardella said China offered extensive aid to Italy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Florence’s Ufizzi Galleries have been available for virtual tours online during the crisis, but those revenues reportedly do not make up for lost ticket sales.

The mayor predicted Florence has about a $200 million deficit due to the lack of tourism. On top of struggling residents whose livelihood relies on tourism, Nardella said historical artifacts like Michelangelo's David and other iconic masterpieces are in danger.

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