Firenze, February 21, 2023
I keep reliving the memories of our past year’s successes and celebrations, a unique culmination of momentous achievements.
The Amici donated to the Uffizi a precious work of art bought at auction, a small panel painting by Maso da San Friano which served as a model for the altarpiece in the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence.
And you, loyal and dedicated American Friends, really stole the scene. After years of painstaking work, two very complex projects were finally complete: the restoration of the eight tapestries of the celebrated Valois series, and of the Sala di Bona in Palazzo Pitti, all made possible through the generosity of Veronica Atkins who financed the recovery of these treasures with enthusiasm and true dedication. On top of that, Veronica also donated a prestigious concert grand piano for the White Room in Palazzo Pitti.
These great accomplishments were given due recognition last October, with a series of events in Florence: Veronica Atkins was awarded the Keys to the City for her philanthropic endeavors as patroness of arts in the Uffizi Galleries; the renewed magnificence of the Sala di Bona was presented at a press conference that received a very wide media coverage; and the eight dazzling Valois tapestries were displayed in a temporary exhibit in Palazzo Pitti.
Lastly, an inaugural piano concert was hosted in Veronica’s honor in the White Hall, with the new Yamaha CFX played by world-renowned pianist Andrea Lucchesini.
I feel so proud of these fit-for-a-king achievements! The Valois tapestries were commissioned by Catherine de’ Medici as regent queen of France, and Palazzo Pitti was the new royal residential palace of the first Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo I de’ Medici and his wife Eleonora of Toledo. Having returned the tapestries and the Sala di Bona to their original splendor is indeed a fitting tribute to those princely patrons of the past from modern-day patrons who love art and beauty, and who believe in the importance of preserving our cultural heritage.
My appreciation and gratitude go beyond words.
Maria Vittoria Colonna Rimbotti