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Venice gets OK for Palazzo

Government to contribute $26 mil to project

It’s official: the Venice Film Festival will get its new E90 million ($117 million) Palazzo del Cinema.

That’s the word from Italian Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli who said an agreement for the Lido fest’s digs will be inked in the next few days.

“The good news is it will get made; we are just working out some final details,” announced Rutelli, speaking in Venice.

The minister added that the government will contribute E20 million ($26 million), while regional and local coin will make up the remaining E70 million ($91 million) necessary to build the futuristic venue.

Venice Biennale topper Davide Croff has long been optimistic about its prospects, but this is the first time a government politician has given the palazzo a greenlight.

New project involves a 2,400-seat space-age theater shaped like an upside-down ship next to the current palazzo, which will be integrated into a structure with a dozen other screening rooms and a market pavilion.

Elaborate catwalks are supposed to have the Lido beach and lagoon as backdrop.

The building would rival the RomeFilmFest’s Renzo Piano-designed auditorium in terms of contempo look, but be more congenial to movies and business, with the aim of turning the Lido into a Cannes-like year-round confab hub.

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