Palazzo del Cinema secures funding

The Venice Film Festival is forging ahead with its announced new Palazzo del Cinema, having secured partial funding for the futuristic new Lido digs from the Italian government.

Culture minister Francesco Rutelli has officially inked the project, which involves a 2,400-seat space age theater shaped like an upside-down ship to be integrated with the current Fascist-era palazzo.

Idea is to build a facility meant to also serve as a Cannes-like year-round convention center.

The Italo government has now allocated Euros 20 million ($27 million) of the project’s estimated $95 million budget, with the remainder coming from municipal and regional coffers.

Though no start date has yet been set on the new palazzo’s construction, work is now expected to begin after the upcoming Aug. 29-Sept. 8 edition, with 2009 or 2010 as possible completion targets.

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