Friends of Florence Press Release – Friends of Florence Co-Sponsors Symposium on Cultural Heritage Preservation

Media Contact:
For additional information, Libby Mark or Heather Meltzer at Bow Bridge Communications, LLC,
New York City; +1 347-460-5566;

For Immediate Release
October 21, 2016


Two-part symposium in Washington, DC, on October 26, and Florence, Italy, on November 3, features prominent experts discussing safeguarding cultural heritage globally

Washington, DC…Friends of Florence is convening and co-sponsoring a two-part public symposium with New York University (NYU), in partnership with the City of Florence, titled “Protecting Cultural Heritage in an Uncertain Time.” Commemorating the 50th anniversary of “L’Alluvione,” the flood that ravaged Florence and Venice damaging artworks, libraries, and historic sites, some irreparably, the symposium aims to call attention to contemporary challenges to safeguarding our cultural patrimony.

Among the featured speakers are Dario Nardella, the mayor of Florence; Armando Varricchio, Italy’s ambassador to the U.S.; Friends of Florence President Simonetta Brandolini d’Adda; and Michele Marincola, Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of Conservation, NYU, and a conservation consultant at NYU’s Villa La Pietra. The first part takes place in Washington, DC, on October 26, from 9:30 am to 5 pm at NYU’s Academic Center (1307 L Street, NW) and the second in Florence, on November 3, at the Palazzo Vecchio from 9 am to 1 pm.

The October 26 event includes sessions on “Conservation Challenges in Emergency Preparation,” “Methods of Documentation,” and “The Feasibility, Desirability, and Ethics of Reconstructing Destroyed Cultural Properties.” Panelists include regional representatives from institutions and organizations around the world, international experts, and scholars from the fields of art, conservation and museums, international culture, law, and law enforcement.

Ms. Brandolini d’Adda said, “With the ongoing threats to and destruction of cultural property due to natural disasters and intentional ruin and collateral damage caused by war and terrorism, the subject is especially timely. We are delighted to be partnering with NYU to have this essential conversation in a public forum. The symposium follows the successful restoration of the Botticelli Room at the Uffizi Gallery, a project also made possible through our generous supporters. Five decades after the devastating flood, we and our colleagues continue to seek ways to protect extraordinary treasures using the latest technologies and strategies combined with time-honored conservation practices.”

Free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, the symposium is organized by Friends of Florence; Ellyn Toscano, Executive Director of NYU Florence and Director of Villa La Pietra; and NYU Director of External Affairs Thomas McIntyre.

For a complete schedule of speakers and presentations—and to view the event live via USTREAM—please click here.

About Friends of Florence

Friends of Florence is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., supported by individuals from around the world who are dedicated to preserving and enhancing the cultural and historical integrity of the arts in the city and surrounding area of Florence, Italy. To date, the organization has raised and donated $10 million for conservation projects in the region.

Friends of Florence provides financial support directly to the city’s restoration laboratories to restore, safeguard, and make available to the public a broad range of art from paintings and sculptures, to architectural elements and collections of smaller objects.

Other project highlights for 2016, include: the restoration and reinstallation of the Botticelli Room at the Uffizi Gallery, in Florence; the conservation of 48 drawings by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo from the Horne Museum in Florence, to be completed in November; and the restoration of The Madonna and Child Enthroned with Angels in the Galleria Palazzo Cini, in Venice, an important panel painting of the early 14th century attributed to the Master of Badia a Isola. Organized and supported in collaboration with Save Venice, the latter two projects commemorate the 50th anniversary of the floods that devastated Venice and Florence in November 1966, and compromised or destroyed aspects of the region’s singular cultural heritage.

Through educational programs and events and by working closely with local and national partners—including the City of Florence, Italian Ministry of Art, and numerous international committees and organizations—Friends of Florence strives to increase public understanding and appreciation of Florence and Tuscany’s abundant treasures.

* * *