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27 June 2014

PRESS RELEASE - Uffizi: rooms are renovated with a donation from Ferragamo

This morning, the Superintendent of Polo Museale Fiorentino - the organisation that manages Florentine museums - signed an important agreement with Salvatore Ferragamo for the funding needed to break ground on a significant project to upgrade the air treatment and security systems of eight rooms in the Uffizi Gallery, which currently cannot be used, enabling the museum to reopen them within a year and display some 50 works of 15th century Florentine art. Uffizi Gallery Director Antonio Natali and the international press, looked on as Cristina Acidini, the Superintendent of the Polo Museale Fiorentino, and Ferruccio Ferragamo, President of the Salvatore Ferragamo Group, signed the agreement against the backdrop of the former Church of San Pier Scheraggio room inside the Gallery.

THE AGREEMENT
By signing the agreement this morning, Salvatore Ferragamo undertakes to donate 600,000, which the Superintendent s office has decided to allocate to the renovation of eight rooms situated at the beginning of the Uffizi Gallery s third corridor. The renovation work will be contracted in accordance with the procedures established by the public contract code and is scheduled for completion within 12 months.
Superintendent Cristina Acidini expressed her utmost gratitude to Salvatore Ferragamo for having made the Uffizi Gallery the recipient of such a generous donation, in tribute to the creative energy that inspires all masterpieces of art, including the creativity of today.
Ferruccio Ferragamo, President of the Salvatore Ferragamo Group, noted, Partnering with cultural institutions and sponsoring initiatives that promote art in all its forms, are written into our brand s DNA. We are thrilled to restore these spaces to their former glory, equipping them with highly advanced technologies so they may be enjoyed by Florentines and visitors from across the world once more .
As we witness the progressive deterioration of these types of partnerships, added Antonio Natali, Director of the Uffizi Gallery, this significant gesture from a celebrated Florentine fashion label in support of the Uffizi comes as a great source of comfort. The city is the true beneficiary of the generosity of one of its own children, renowned around the world for the aesthetic virtues that Florence continues to pass down .

THE PAST AND FUTURE OF THE SMALL U
Together with recovered rooms 33 and 34, rooms 25 to 32 of the Uffizi Gallery, which previously held 16th century Florentine, Veneto and Lombard paintings by illustrious artists like Michelangelo to Lotto, form a small U that begins and ends at the start of the third corridor.
In keeping with restoration practices for existing spaces by upgrading technical systems, the museum has decided to upgrade the air treatment (air conditioners and dehumidifiers) and security systems (motion detectors, infrared detectors and video cameras), restore the flooring in certain areas and install a new lighting system. 
The museum renovation and, in particular, the new direct lighting system for the artwork, will not alter the appearance of the early twentieth century museum rooms with their large skylights, stated Antonio Godoli, the Uffizi s Director of Architecture and Museology, who designed the new layout of the eight rooms in the southeast wing of the Vasarian building.
The work will not be part of the project for the New Uffizi, given that the previous renovation dates back to roughly 20 years ago, when a bomb exploded in via dei Georgofili, damaging this wing more than any other part of the Vasarian building.
As the colour green runs throughout the Uffizi from room 20 (in which the artwork of Andrea Mantegna, Jacopo Bellini and Antonello da Messina, among others, is displayed), it will also be the chromatic leitmotif in rooms 25 to 32.
Upon completion of the work, the recovered rooms will display some 50 works of 15th century Florentine art, a third of which from rooms in the museum s reserve collection.
Curated by Daniela Parenti (the Uffizi s Director of Medieval and Early Renaissance Painting), the new layout will include paintings by Ghirlandaio and Baldovinetti in room 25, Cosimo Rosselli, Jacopo del Sellaio and Florentine painters in room 26, Filippino Lippi in room 27, Piero di Cosimo and others in room 28, Perugino in room 29, Lorenzo di Credi in room 30 and Luca Signorelli in rooms 31 and 32.

THE FERRAGAMO COMPANY
Salvatore Ferragamo, an Italian style icon, is providing generous funding to the Superintendency of the Polo Museale Fiorentino - which will benefit one of the country s finest jewels, the Uffizi Gallery - continuing the brand s longstanding tradition as patron of the arts and strengthening the virtuous partnership between the public sector and private donors, now a key strategy in upholding Italy s unparalleled culture and arts.
Since it was founded, the Florentine brand has stood apart for its well-balanced mix of traditional craftsmanship, experimentation, innovative manufacturing techniques and style, creating luxury goods that embody the very finest qualities of Made in Italy products. Ongoing dialogue with the world of art, cinema and culture has always played an integral part of the brand s history and image.
It was not by coincidence that Salvatore Ferragamo chose to live in Florence, with its deep artistic and artisanal background, when he returned to Italy from the US in 1927. Here, in the city of the Lily, he established his business on the banks of the river Arno and forged an intense, longlasting partnership with the people in the area. Ferragamo collections, the epitome of Italian tradition and creativity, are still made with Florentine materials, particularly lace from Tavernelle, straw and raffia, all of which the brand s founder was very fond.
The company s growth and the brand s development owe much to the cultural heritage and tradition of fine craftsmanship found in Tuscany and in Florence in particular. After having sponsored several restoration projects in city squares and on the Santa Trinità Bridge, along with a number of cultural initiatives, Ferragamo was a proud partner of the Polo Museale Fiorentino s Educational Division in its 2013 Fairy Tale Museum program for families. And now, Salvatore Ferragamo has once again decided to acknowledge its debt to the city and celebrate its ties to the local area and people with this generous donation to fund the restoration of eight rooms in the Uffizi Gallery.
On its website (link), the Polo Museale Fiorentino has published a selection of the works of art that will be displayed in the eight renovated Uffizi rooms, along with two images of rooms 25 and 26 in their current state and the layout of rooms 25-32 in the museum.

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