Feature article in Art & Museum Autumn Issue 2018

Friends of Florence Celebrate Two Decades of Supporting Cultural Heritage Preservation in Tuscany

This year, Friends of Florence celebrates its 20th anniversary. The U.S. non-profit organisation based in Florence, Italy, is supported by individuals from around the world who are dedicated to preserving and enhancing the cultural and historical integrity of the arts in Florence and the Tuscan region. Since its founding by Renée Gardner and Simonetta Brandolini d’Adda, the organisation has raised and donated more than $10 million for conservation projects. Friends of Florence works directly with Florence’s famed conservators to ensure restoration is done at the highest level and with the approval of the City of Florence and the Italian Ministry of Art.

An essential part of Friends of Florence’s work is supporting research and advancing the public’s understanding of and appreciation for conservation practices and preserving cultural heritage. With the just completed cleaning of a statue in Florence’s national archaeological museum, for example, the project was carried out in full view of visitors and resulted in the true identity of the statue being discovered. Cleaning away years of grime, the white marble figure that was revealed was the Greek goddess Aphrodite rather than the Spartan queen Leda as was thought.

In addition to projects, Friends of Florence also contributes to the maintenance of Michelangelo’s iconic David at the Galleria dell’Accademia following its restoration in 2004, with regular monitoring and marble stability checks…

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