Local residents in Florence are angry at plans by hip hop star Kanye West and reality television celebrity Kim Kardashian to get married in the city later this month.
New site The Local reports that wedding ceremony will take place in Forte Belvedere, a 16th Century castle built by the infamous Medici family, on Saturday 24 May.
Although Florence city hall says that the money will go to funding the city – hiring the venue costs €300,000 – opposition candidates in the mayoral election later this month have criticised authorities for allowing the wedding to go ahead.
Conservative candidate Achille Totaro said the wedding amounts to a “sell-off of Florence’s monuments”, while the candidate for the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, Miriam Amato, called for “greater respect for our city’s treasures”.
City authorities have also caused controversy by renting-out the Cappellone degli Spagnoli, a chapel in the Novella Basilica complex with 14th Century frescos, for €20,000 for a dinner for global bank JP Morgan.
Deputy Mayor Dario Nardella, who is also a candidate for the mayoralty, defended the events, saying: “We are respecting all the rules.”
“If hosting events like private business dinners is good for finding resources for our community and for our cultural heritage then I think it is right.”