Firenze, February 9, 2021
After a most difficult year full of anxieties and limitations, when much to my regret and disappointment we even had to put on hold our 2020 Florentine Weekend, we now have hopes for a brighter outlook and set new dates for our next reunion.
I cannot wait to welcome you back to Florence this coming October 7-12, and show you all the restoration projects completed, in progress and in store: at the Uffizi, at Palazzo Pitti, and also at the Boboli Garden which is being reorganized and will deserve a good tour.
Even if slowed down by the pandemic restrictions, works have never stopped: restoration of the Quintain tapestry was finished by the end of 2020, and Barriers, the last one of the series, is already well under way; sanitary rules at NYU in Villa La Pietra do not allow access to more than three restorers when six used to work at the same time, but nevertheless we hope the tapestry will be completed in time to be admired during the Weekend. At the Uffizi, new rooms will shortly be opened to display masterpieces such as the exquisite Madonna with the Long Neck by Parmigianino, which will enjoy pride of place thanks to the special glass case funded by the Friends. The Maps Room will surely be finished by October and, after being closed to the public for over twenty years, it will be a sensational reopening offering many pleasant surprises.
At Pitti, extraordinary surprises are certainly in store for the Sala di Bona where, besides the vivid colors emerging after the removal of repaintings and dirt, original 16th century frescoes by Poccetti were discovered underneath dark decorations added in the 18th century; here again, the project is being delayed by coronavirus restrictions, because in spite of the room’s enormous size only three persons can work on the scaffoldings, but the expected astonishing results will make up for any trouble.
And all this is being accomplished thanks to the Friends’ generosity and passion for a priceless artistic heritage belonging not just to Florence but to all mankind.
I am looking forward to finally seeing you again on this side of the ocean!
Maria Vittoria Colonna Rimbotti