Italy's La Scala opera house will return funds that were previously offered by Saudi Arabia amid a fierce objection by human rights groups and some politicians.
The cultural institution will give back €3 million in funding after the plan to work closely with the Kingdom had been widely criticized.
Milan's Mayor, Giuseppe Sala, said the funds, that are part of a five-year partnership deal that would see €15 million granted to the opera house, had been placed into an escrow account without the theatre's permission.
"We have unanimously decided to return the money," Sala told reporters.
"Right now, going down this road is not possible," he said.