Museums Conservation Italy

Part of Vasari Corridor roof collapses in Florence

Restoration work has begun on the historic walkway, after plaster and tiles fall over the weekend

Florence' Vasari Corridor stretches from the Palazzo Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti, on the other side of the river Arno

Emergency restoration work started today on a section of Florence’s famous Vasari Corridor, after some plaster and tiles fell from the roof on Friday. The damage occurred in the section of the raised corridor that passes next to the church of Santa Felicita, just over the Ponte Vecchio, on the south side of the river Arno.

It is reported that no one was hurt, and museum professionals are already establishing the best course of action to restore the damage to the building. Around ten portraits have been removed from the walls as a precaution while restoration work begins, but the popular tourist site will remain open.

Coincidentally, the same portion of the corridor was due to be closed most of next month while curators install a series of self-portraits of 20th-century and contemporary artists for an exhibition that is scheduled to open at the end of September.

The Vasari Corridor is a long, raised passageway that connects the Palazzo Vecchio, in Piazza della Signoria, with Palazzo Pitti, on the other side of the river Arno. It passes through and along some of Florence’s most important landmarks, such as the Uffizi galleries, the Ponte Vecchio and the Boboli Gardens. It was designed and built in 1564 by Giorgio Vasari, the quintessential renaissance man, artist, architect and writer, to allow Cosimo de Medici and the rest of the Florentine elite to walk safely through the city.

A car bomb explosion in 1993, suspected to have been set off by the Mafia, damaged the section of the corridor closest to the Uffizi’s entrance, including works by Rubens, and killed six people.

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