Yagi Tsusho Limited, has agreed to donate one million euros to restore a 2,000-year-old marble pyramid in Rome. The monument (inspired by the rage for all things Egypt) was a burial chamber for Roman magistrate, Gaius Cestius. This bit of generosity from the business sector follows Diego Della Valle's (founder of the Tod's shoe business) 22 million euro restoration of the Colosseum which begins in March. Apparently, Mr. Yagi has had business connections with Italy for more than 40 years and is funding the restoration of this monument to commemorate his links with Rome.
THIS is what I'm talking about. If we could just take the money that's being spent on buying illicitly excavated antiquities and redirect it into the restoration of archaeological sites and dilapidated monuments, a lot of conflicts might be solved, the illegal trade might be forced to downsize considerably, and more valuable connections would be made between states, institutions, and individuals. I know it sounds like a grandiose pipe dream, but I think that in the next twenty years it may be possible to achieve, especially considering the lessons my generation of museum/cultural heritage/archaeology professionals will have learned from the blunders of our predecessors. Hopefully, Mr. Yagi and Mr. Della Valle are planting the seeds for a trend that could revolutionize how we approach the problem areas in cultural heritage and archaeology.