Shoe mogul comes to the rescue of Italy's cultural treasures

La Scala opera house has become the latest Italian cultural landmark to benefit from the largesse of Diego Della Valle, of Tod's luxury leather goods.

His company this week pledged €5.2m (£4.6m) to help the Milan institution balance its books, at a time when Italy's arts and culture sector is wilting under government cuts. After announcing the donation, to be made over the next four years, Mr Della Valle called on others in the private sector to join the rescue of Italy's cultural treasures.

This year, Tod's pledged €25m to fund the restoration of Rome's crumbling Colosseum. The company has also signalled that it will make a large donation to the historic but rapidly decaying archaeological site at Pompeii.