US foundation donates one million to complete the new-look Vasari Corridor

US foundation donates one million to complete the new-look Vasari Corridor

Nevada-based Edwin L. Wiegand Foundation is funding the final setup, which is expected to reopen in May 2024.

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Wed 11 Oct 2023 4:43 PM

The restoration work on the Vasari Corridor that began in March 2021 is now entering the final phase, with an expected reopening of May 27, 2024. The works are being helped to the finish line by a one million dollar donation from Marisa and Raymond Avansino of the Edwin L. Wiegand Foundation of Reno, Nevada. They have previously shown their support for artistic establishments, such as the Nevada Museum of Art and Arte ITALIA initiative, which aims to explore Italian culture.

The American donors with Eike Schmidt of the Uffizi Galleries (centre)

Stretching from Palazzo Vecchio to Palazzo Pitti, the one kilometre-long passageway is undergoing work to improve structural integrity and accessibility and to allow visitors to experience this unique part of Florence’s Renaissance heritage, dating to 1565. The comprehensive restoration prioritizes safety through architectural reinforcements, the avoidance of flammable materials and new emergency routes. Further additions include lifts and paved floors to make it an accessible route for all.

Vasari Corridor rendering

Following advice by the fire department, the new-look Vasari Corridor will not feature paintings, but will instead be lined by approximately 300 marble epigraphs from Ancient Greece and Rome that have been in the museum’s storages since 1919. The decision to showcase classical objects is said to be in accordance with Vasari’s original intentions for the space.

Sixteenth-century frescoes that once decorated the external part of the corridor facing the Boboli Gardens will also be on display as well as two separate exhibitions that commemorate the two attacks that damaged the passageway: in 1944, by Nazi troops, and in 1993 by a Mafia bombing. Finally, original plaster, stone masonry and floors from the 16th-century structure have been made visible following their recent discovery as a result of the renovations.

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