Openings Museums Italy

Progress on the Uffizi expansion, at last

Eight new rooms house paintings by French, Dutch, Flemish and Spanish artists

Interior of one of the rooms recently opened at the Nuovi Uffizi

After a delay of more than five years, progress is finally being made on the project to extend the Uffizi galleries, housed within the Vasarian building complex. Eight new rooms dedicated to French, Dutch, Flemish and Spanish artists from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries opened at the end of last year, marking an important step towards the completion of the Nuovi Uffizi expansion.

The paintings, most of which have been kept in store, were selected from the Uffizi's various painting departments by the art historian Bert Meijer. Works by the artists including Rubens, Rembrandt, Chardin and Velázquez will be presented according to their schools, and displayed in vibrant blue coloured rooms, markedly different from the traditional grey-white used in the main Uffizi galleries.

Rooms on the first floor, which up until now were used to host temporary exhibitions, are due to be devoted to the permanent collection. A large space on the ground floor will now house special exhibitions.

The Nuovi Uffizi renovations are expected to more than double its exhibition space from 5,400 sq. m to 12,000 sq. m, allowing visitor numbers to also double, from 4,000 to 8,000 a day.

The Nuovi Uffizi project was initially due for completion in 2006 and then delayed to 2009. It has now been scheduled for completion in 2014, but €30m is still needed to stay on track.

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