The Embassy of Italy and the Italian Institute of Culture in Washington DC sponsored a lecture in May featuring Simonetta Brandolini d’Adda, founder and President of “Friends of Florence”, and Fred Hiebert, PhD, Archaeology Fellow at the National Geographic Society.
Opening remarks were made by Ambassador of Italy to the U.S., Armando Varricchio, and Director of the UNESCO Office in New York and The UNESCO Representative to the United Nations, Marie Paule Roudil.
The presentation focused on the extraordinary efforts of Friends of Florence in its most important restoration projects, including Michelangelo’s David, Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise, the Tribuna, the Botticelli and Niobe Rooms at the Uffizi Gallery and numerous others. Guests also learned about the new and exciting discovery annouced by Fred Hiebert from the National Geographic Society about the hidden tunnel beneath the Colosseum in Rome, one of the world’s most visited monuments.
This event was part of the “Protecting our Heritage” initiative, a program supported by UNESCO and organized by the Washington Network of the European Union National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC), under the 2016 Italian presidency. The focus of the initiative is to raise awareness of the need to act against the growing threats posed to cultural heritage by wars, international terrorism, criminal organizations, climate challenges and neglect.
The event was followed by a private dinner at the Villa Firenze hosted by the Italian Ambassador and his wife. It was a beautiful evening.