Our founding and sister organization in Italy, Amici degli Uffizi (“Friends of the Uffizi”), celebrated their 20th anniversary on July 8, 2013 in Florence. The organization was created by a group of concerned Florentine citizens a few months after the May 1993 bombing of the Uffizi Gallery to raise funds to repair and restore the museum, though their current mission has evolved to also increase global awareness and appreciation for the museum.
In celebration of Amici degli Uffizi’s twenty successful years, a conference was held on July 10, 2013 in the Sala delle Reali Poste on the ground floor of the Uffizi Gallery. The event was hosted by influential Florentines such as Cristina Acidini, the superintendent of the historical, artistic and ethno-anthropological museums of Florence, Antonio Natali, the director of the Uffizi Gallery and the Countess Maria Vittoria Colonna Rimbotti, president of the Amici degli Uffizi.
During the event, the artist Giulio Paolini donated one of his works titled, “Fuoriquadro (Autoritratto).” This self-portrait and triptych will be on display in September at the opening of a new section of the Vasari Corridor. It will be featured alongside other self-portraits from the 19th century to today.
Countess Rimbotti, who is also the president of Friends of the Uffizi Gallery spoke about the importance and success of both organizations. She said, “Our organizations have always worked in tandem with the superintendent as a family when planning our projects. When we started we were only 100 people; now we are around 7,000 and we don’t only do restorations, but also research and promotion of events.”
Countess Rimbotti also alluded to the help of many volunteers and those outside the limelight. She added, “It’s because of the hard work of these ‘amici’ that the Uffizi Gallery is able to envision a more modern and engaging plan for the future.”
Realizing that, “it is hard to appreciate and love what you don’t understand,” Director Natali acknowledged the good work the Amici degli Uffizi have done with educational outreach geared towards younger generations.
With all our organizations working cooperatively with passion and dedication, it’s certain that the Uffizi Gallery will continue to engage and inspire people within Italy and from afar for many years to come.
Watch the Italian news coverage of this event here: