ATHENS, Greece — Greece's culture ministry has rejected a request by Italian luxury brand Gucci to use the ancient Acropolis for a fashion event this summer.
Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou told state television a panel of ministry experts turned down the request late Tuesday, adding she was in "total agreement."
The Acropolis is listed as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations cultural organisation, Unesco. Koniordou said: "We have a duty to defend the importance of (the Acropolis) ... a global symbol of democracy and freedom."
Requests for commercial use of ancient monuments in Greece are rarely approved. American singer Jennifer Lopez was granted access to the Acropolis for a 2008 photo shoot. The site also featured in the 2014 film "The Two Faces of January" starring Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst.
Update, 15 February, 2017: In a statement issued to BoF, Gucci has denied reports that it offered a sum of €56 million for a cultural collaboration relating to projects in the area of the Greek Acropolis. A Gucci spokesperson said: "We confirm that a meeting took place with the Greek authorities to explore the possibility of a long-term cultural collaboration. This type of initiative is not new for our brand; in recent years Gucci has established such cultural collaborations with Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, the Mingshen Museum in Shanghai, Chatsworth House in England and LACMA in Los Angeles. The published speculation regarding the supposed economic proposal, direct or indirect, is absolutely incorrect and without any foundation. The information reported by Repubblica.it and some other Greek websites was not verified in any way with us."