Last Sunday, the annual meeting of the ‘Opera del Tempio ebraico’ in Florence, chaired by Renzo Funaro, welcomed a special guest: the director of the Uffizi Gallery, Eike Schmidt, who presented to those present a report entitled ‘Florence and Jewish cultural assets: protection and valorisation initiatives’. After highlighting the artistic value of the Synagogue in Florence, the report goes on to illustrate the main stages in the history of the Uffizi, as well as recent achievements and ongoing projects.
In particular, Schmidt talked about the project of a book on biblical themes featured in the paintings owned by the gallery. The aim of the project, which involves the collaboration of Professor Dora Liscia and the chief rabbi of Florence, Joseph Levi, is to give visitors viewing the works an opportunity to increase their knowledge of the various exegeses that developed in Jewish and Christian contexts.
The Director of the Uffizi then talked about the new room dedicated to Botticelli and that planned for the works of Caravaggio, explaining that the current refurbishing plan – which will more than double the space – will also allow the exhibition of works by 19th-Century Jewish artists. The final subject addressed by Schmidt was the great exhibition on Jewish fabrics that is due to be held in 2019 at the Uffizi in collaboration with Rome’s Hieronymus Museum and the Italian Jewish Cultural Foundation, entitled ‘All the Colours of Jewish Italy’. The project, born from an idea by Daniela di Castro (z”l) and developed by his sister Alessandra Di Castro, has already produced its first result in the form of a catalogue of ancient Roman ‘mappots’, curated by D. D’Avanzo Poli, O. Malesecchi and A. Spagnoletto and presented to the Uffizi in December 2016.
(April 3, 2017)05