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<p><strong style="font-size: 1.17em;">Firenze Restaura" (&ldquo;Florence

Firenze Restaura" (“Florence Restores”), forty years later

As the Superintendent of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure (OPD), I’m here to welcome the visitors to this new service, which was realized thanks to the commitment and creativity of Anna Mieli and Giancarlo Buzzanca and their collaborators, incorporated within the website of the Institute with great satisfaction and pride.

The exhibition "Florence Restores" and its catalogue, edited by Umberto Baldini and Paolo Dal Poggetto, have assumed a great importance for both the OPD and the entire history of restoration in Italy, constituting the pillars of modern Italian restoration. "Florence Restores" was the first exhibition of the restored works of art of such enormous dimensions and content, and it majorly contributed, with its thousands of visitors, to modify the idea of this discipline as one accessible only to a limited group of professionals, drawing it nearer to the people and thus transforming it into a phenomenon that affected the general public. Even its catalogue, voluminous as an art book, had outclassed for the first time the slender dossiers which, until then, were the only means to illustrate even quite significant restorations. The vast exhibition, held from March 18 till June 4 in on the pavilions of the Fortezza da Basso, bore the undertitle of "Fourty years of activity of the laboratory" and indeed dealt with two main topics: A tribute to the founder of the laboratory Ugo Procacci with the reconstruction of the first forty years of activity starting from 1932, and a presentation of the restoration projects, carried out at the new laboratory at the Fortezza da Basso, applied to the works damaged by the tragic flood of 1966.

The fact was that both the exhibition and the relative publication which was supposed to be only a "guide" for the exhibition provided a scientific catalog of the works which was a total novelty for its period: The final result was an important document regarding both the history of restoration in Florence and the search for the increasingly innovative and advanced technical and methodological solutions, such as those applied to the Crucifix of Cimabue. The results achieved, and the public’s interest in saving and preserving the artistic heritage of Florence, along with the brilliant attention of another great Florentine, Giovanni Spadolini, paved the way for that institutional reform which led to the foundation of a separate Ministry for Cultural Heritage, and to the regrouping and reorganization of all the existing restoration activities within a new institute with national competence: the Opificio delle Pietre Dure and its Restoration Laboratories as we know them today.

To be able to look ahead, towards the future, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of our own identity and history: It is for this reason that while celebrating the 80th anniversary of the restoration laboratories of the paintings with a one-day seminar held on December 5th last year, we wanted to announce the birth of this virtual reconstruction of the exhibition dating back to 1972 as an ideal starting point marking the modern era of the OPD.

(introduction by Marco Ciatti )

Florence Restores 2012: The virtual exhibition

The fortieth anniversary of the founding of the Superintendent’s Cabinet of the Restoration Projects of the Galleries of was held in Florence at the Fortezza da Basso between March 18th and July 4th 1972 was celebrated with a major exhibition conceived and realized by Umberto Baldini, the successor of Ugo Procacci as the Cabinet’s director and the Superintendent of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure and the Restoration Laboratories of the Superintendence of the Galleries .(read more)

(introduction by Anna Mieli

Real vs. Virtual

When you adopt the term “virtual”, fantasy usually gets the upper hand on reality.

It's also true that in literature some concepts related to “virtuality” are not yet so solidly codified in their definitions. Despite this fact, the Ministry of Culture, thanks to OTEBAC (Technological Observatory for the Artistic and Cultural Heritage) and its specific publication "Virtual online exhibitions. Guidelines for implementation” (Rome, 2011), has managed to publish some very useful recommendations regarding not only the definition of such concepts, but also the illustration of the development and implementation of exemplary projects in this field. (read more)

(introducion by Giancarlo Buzzanca)