I hope that even from across the ocean, through the news and pictures posted on the Friends of the Uffizi Gallery blog and website, in the course of 2013 you could share and rejoice in the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Italian sister organization Amici degli Uffizi, taking pride in being associated with the successful results achieved also thanks to your generous support.
We started the year in style with the opening of the totally refurbished Michelangelo Room displaying the Tondo Doni – a major project entirely funded by the Amici and Friends organizations – and continued with the presentation of the restored panel paintings among the most ancient of the Uffizi Gallery: two crucifixes and a diptych by 13th-century Tuscan masters.
During a very suggestive evocation in the Sala delle Reali Poste of the hundreds of restoration and acquisition projects completed in these past twenty years by the Amici degli Uffizi, we presented a further acquisition to the Gallery: the self-portrait “Fuori quadro” donated by artist Giulio Paolini. Finally, we closed the year in state with a last extraordinary event: the presentation of the self-portrait “Submerged” donated by the celebrated video artist Bill Viola, now part of the permanent collection of the Vasari Corridor and installed in the new section dedicated to self-portraits by 20th-century and contemporary artists.
We also proudly unveiled another two ancient statues restored with the generous donations from the Friends’ Leonardo-level members, and already in the new year a further restoration has been completed and two more have been commissioned. You are really becoming prominent patrons of the Uffizi ancient marbles!
Time does fly and the fourth Florentine Weekend is fast approaching; we are busy organizing the exclusive events for those of you who cannot stay away from Florence for long and, besides enjoying privileged behind-closed-doors visits to museums and private homes, wish to personally marvel at the masterpieces they helped restore.
I hope you will never tire of supporting the preservation of our artistic and cultural heritage and wish to express my deepest gratitude for your past, present and future support.
With much appreciation,
Maria Vittoria Colonna Rimbotti