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New light shines on Botticelli masterpieces

"Birth of Venus" painted in the mid 1480s by Italian painter Sandro Botticelli is seen at the reopening of Florence's Uffizi Gallery on October 17, 2016 (AFP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli)

“Birth of Venus” painted in the mid 1480s by Italian painter Sandro Botticelli is seen at the reopening of Florence’s Uffizi Gallery on October 17, 2016 (AFP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli)

Two of the most famous works of Sandro Botticelli, “Spring” and the “Birth of Venus”, were unveiled in a new setting Monday following extensive renovation work at Florence’s Uffizi Gallery.

Rooms nine and 15, two of the most visited in a celebrated museum that pulls in two million guests per year, have been closed for enlargement and modernisation since July 2015.

As well as the Botticelli masterpieces, the rooms are also home to major works by Pollaiolo, Hugo van der Goes and Domenico Ghirlandaio.


All the works are now lit by natural light from above and the gallery’s German director Eike Schmidt said visitors would now be able to spend more time contemplating them thanks to the new layout.

“The paintings have been arranged in the new rooms in such a way as to respond to the flow of visitors before the masterpieces,” he said.

“Visitor experience has thus been immeasurably improved not only in terms of comfort but also in terms of ease of interpretation of the works of art, because each painting is displayed in direct relation to those in its immediate vicinity in terms of style, date or subject matter.”

The renovation was largely financed by US based supporters of the Friends of Florence not-for-profit organisation.


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Sandro Botticelli


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