London, September 2 : Fans of the rock band 'Genesis' have a golden chance to be its frontman Peter Gabriel's future neighbours - buy an abandoned villa in the Italian town of Salemi just like the singer is planning to do, for just one euro.
The town inviting people to buy the homes abandoned after an earthquake 40 years ago for such a petty amount as part of a scheme to rebuild the area.
Mayor Vittorio Sgarbi said that the homes would be sold on the condition that the buyers would have to restore them in two years.
He further said that the restorations would have to meet standards laid down by the council, and respect the original character of the buildings.
The art critic and former deputy Culture Minister expressed hope that people with "both the aesthetic sensitivity and the economic resources to take part in this adventure" would come forward.
Salemi is best known for providing the headquarters of Guiseppe Garibaldi after his historic landing at Marsala with "The Thousand" in May 1860, the start of his armed struggle for the unification of Italy.
Sgarbi believes that the town is an ideal centre for religious dialogue and the arts.
Oliviero Toscani, the photographer who is Sgarbi's adviser on "creativity and human rights" at Salemi, said that "thousands" of ancient houses in the steep, cobbled streets of Salemi had been derelict since the 1968 earthquake.
The buildings were not only in a perilous state but also formed "part of an historical heritage which is being dissipated".
"We know these houses are perfectly capable of being salvaged. They have to be adapted to the exigencies of the modern world while maintaining the colours, forms and appearances of their time," Times Online quoted Peter Glidewell, an art dealer and critic who is the Mayor's adviser on the enivironment, as saying.
Toscani said that though an influx of VIPs would help to revitalise the town, the scheme was not intended for celebrities alone.