My greetings and wishes for this year 2013 are particularly filled with emotion, because this year marks the twentieth anniversary of our Association Amici degli Uffizi which you have been so worthily supporting. Twenty years! So much toil, so much commitment, but what a lot of achievements and satisfaction! It is enough to browse the rich image gallery of our websites, completely renewed and redesigned last year, to realize the extent of our scope of activities totally in favor of “our” museum. Outstanding results also due to your generous support and faithful belief in this modern-day collective patronage of the arts.
As you might be aware, the year 2012 was packed with very important activities funded by the Amici: the diagnostic investigation of Leonardo’s Adoration, which proved the need of conservative interventions which we will also support, the donation to the Department of Prints and Drawings of the Uffizi of the drawings acquired through the bequest in memory of the late Almina Dovati Fusi, the usual never-before-seen Christmas-time exhibit, that in this eleventh edition immersed visitors in the magical, alchemy atmosphere of the wonder chambers of the Medici.
And already this year started with a very special event: the opening of the totally refurbished Michelangelo room, with the breathtaking Doni Tondo standing out against the crimson wall among the paintings of Michelangelo’s contemporary artist friends; the whole project, including the restoration of the ancient marble sculpture of the Sleeping Ariadne placed at the center of the room, was co-funded by all of you, our American Friends more and more involved and active in supporting our common mission: in 2012 another two ancient statues along the Gallery corridors were restored thanks to Leonardo-Membership donors, and the U.S. tour of the “Pane degli Angeli” exhibition was passionately promoted and was a great success in all four museums.
Back from my usual trip – with Vice President Manuel Guerra – to the Friends’ headquarters in Florida for the annual meetings and conferences to present our organization, I was moved by the enthusiastic welcome we were given at the Società Dante Alighieri, the Italian Cultural Institute in Miami where we found highly motivated people, fully aware of the importance of protecting the treasures passed down to us and representing our cultural identity, not only Florentine or Tuscan or Italian, but of all Western civilization.
This is the reason why, more than ever now at these critical times, your contribution is fundamental to help us bring to fruition the many projects submitted by the Superintendent and by the Uffizi Director. Some are already in our portfolio, such as the refurbishment of Rooms nos. 1, 33 and 34, and three important restorations will be dedicated soon.
I therefore renew our thanks and appreciation for your continuous commitment to support art and beauty.
With undivided friendship,
Contessa Maria Vittoria Colonna Rimbotti
Firenze, March 2013