Vasari Corridor to reopen by the end of the year

Vasari Corridor to reopen by the end of the year

New Uffizi director Simone Verde explains his plans for the museum.

Wed 03 Jul 2024 8:55 AM

Simone Verde became director of the Uffizi Galleries in February. Formerly in charge of Parma’s Palazzo della Pilotta Museum and head of scientific research and publications for the Louvre Abu Dhabi, yesterday the 48-year-old gave a presentation to the foreign press in Rome. Here are his responses, including an answer about the long-awaited reopening of the Vasari Corridor.

Simone Verde, director of the Uffizi Galleries, delivers his presentation to the foreign press in Rome

The role of the Uffizi past, present and future

“The Uffizi was, first and foremost on an architectural level, the prototype of the western museum. This model was replicated for centuries all over the world. In addition, the Uffizi (and Palazzo Pitti) are now a living encyclopaedia of the universal history of museums, ranging from the Renaissance to the Modernism of [Giovanni] Michelucci, [Ignazio] Gradella and [Carlo] Scarpa. Starting with these elements, we would like to reclaim the global centrality of our institute at a scientific and public level.”

What about the Vasari Corridor?

Vasari Corridor rendering
Future rendering of the Vasari Corridor

Everything will open by the end of the year. We will open the first section by late autumn. We are working on the set-up with the scientific team.”

Future plans for the Uffizi and Palazzo Pitti

“Our first goal is to create a centre for museum studies, involving leading international scholars: it should be built at the Casino del Cavaliere in the Boboli Gardens.”

“Another main objective is to recompose our historical heritage with sections on the history of the collections at the Uffizi (ground floor) and at Palazzo Pitti (Sala Bianca); open deposits of furniture and tapestries (also at Palazzo Pitti); a section on the history of the Boboli Gardens; a rearrangement of the Medici treasure rooms at Palazzo Pitti; the reconstruction of the Ricetto delle Iscrizioni room at the Uffizi and the reopening of the Flemish painters’ rooms also at the Uffizi. These last two will be inaugurated on July 31 with the Italian Minister of Culture. Then follows ordinary life in all its complexity with the reopening of the fashion museum at Palazzo Pitti (inauguration on July 16). Among other things, we are working on a major fashion project, which will have incredible international media resonance. By the end of the year, we will be working on the complete refurbishment of the second floor of the Uffizi, which has already been underway for weeks.”

“In the future it will be essential to create a children’s museum, which is being supported by Friends of Florence who are financing the initiative. It will be situated on the ground floor of the Uffizi.”

“We also intend to redevelop the Boboli Gardens, which we hope to keep open on Mondays. We have freed up 600,000 euro from the donation made by Gucci in 2019, which we will use to plant thousands of trees and botanicals.”

On that crane

Ph. @gruinflorence

Removing the crane is a top priority. On the first useful day it can come down, it will come down. We are working hard with the legal department and we have sponsorship proposals that will help us. I am sure that we will arrive at a solution in a reasonable time.”

On overcrowding and queues

The queues are not too long any more. They have been reduced in part by getting rid of paper tickets, something that has streamlined access. The strategy against overcrowding is twofold: increase opening hours, and we are doing this with evening openings, and dilute the visitor flow to Palazzo Pitti. The piazzale degli Uffizi isn’t in the best of conditions with all the building sites, so the ticket office will be moved to the back. We have commissioned architects Guicciardini and Magni to create a monumental entrance that will allow us to welcome those who enter this beautiful museum properly.”

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