Italian exhibitors Anec and Anem and Anica, the country’s film industry body, will donate the national gross box office ticket sales from April 23 to people affected by theearthquake that hit the country earlier this week.

The move comes after Italian Culture Minister Sandro Bondi called for a show of solidarity from the entertainment industry and asked it to look at ways of raising money for victims. Further initiatives are expected to be announced next week.

The earthquake struck the town of L’Aquila (120 kilometers northeast of Rome) on Sunday night and there is a confirmed death toll of 279 so far. The number of homeless or displaced people is currently around 28,000 with many houses completely destroyed. More people may be affected as the region continues to suffer strong aftershocks.

A State funeral will be held Friday for a great number of the victims.