"We have a duty to defend the importance of [the Acropolis] ... a global symbol of democracy and freedom," said Culture Minister of Greece, Lydia Koniordou, of the Italian fashion house's bid to host a presentation at the monument later this year.

Listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the fifth century BC monument has rarely been allowed to be used for commercial enterprises - aside from a 2008 photoshoot featuring J-Lo and a scene in the 2014 film The Two Faces of January starring Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen.

A still from The Two Faces of January and Jennifer Lopez in a 2008 shoot for InStyle Greece

In a statement to the Business of Fashion, a Gucci representative explained, "We confirm that a meeting took place with the Greek authorities to explore the possibility of a long-term cultural collaboration."

The Acropolis in Athens, Greece

 "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."

In the same statement, Gucci reportedly denied reports that it offered a approximately $77.7 million to the Greek authorities for a cultural collaboration in the area of the Acropolis.

Greece forbids Gucci from staging runway show at the Acropolis