Appeal to bring Rape of the Sabine Women inside

Giambologna’s sculpture is at risk, says Director Schmidt

Samantha Vaughn
August 8, 2017 - 17:49

Director of the Uffizi Galleries, Eike Schmidt, is remaking the long-held case for moving Giambologna’s famous Rape of the Sabine Women to the Uffizi from its current location under the Loggia dei Lanzi in piazza della Signoria, where it has been since its completion in the 1580s. Citing worries over rising temperatures, air pollution and tourism-related risks, Schmidt asked that the sculpture be brought into the protective indoor environment. Despite being constantly monitored and cared for by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, time’s damaging effects have not spared the work.


In 2000, then-Superintendent Antonio Paolucci voiced the same concerns, though his appeal to secure the statue did not come to anything in the end. As atmospheric and tourism conditions have only worsened over the last 17 years, Schmidt says it is time to revisit the issue, suggesting that a copy should be made in its place, which he maintains is a much more affordable project compared to years past, and that all levels of the administration and public conservation authorities should be involved in determining its final location within the Uffizi.

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