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Italy Sends Botticelli to Israel After All

After announcing the loan of 'The Annunciation of San Martino alla Scala' to Israel, only to call it off days later, Italy has confirmed that the masterpiece is currently en route to Jerusalem

By: Daniel Koren
Published: September 16th, 2013 in News » World
Sandro Botticelli (A Self Portrait)

Talk about back and forth.

You may recall that, weeks ago, as a Rosh Hashanah gift, Italy announced it would send a renowned Sandro Botticelli masterpiece to Israel just in time for the High Holidays.

The painting was to go on display September 17th at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

You may also recall that, just a few days after the announcement, Italy nulled the plan, citing fears of a possible Syria military intervention in Israel as the reason, or, rather, 'geopolitcal and logistical considerations'.

Art enthusiasts living in Jerusalem can now rejoice, as Israeli culture minister Limor Livnat has confirmed that Botticelli's The Annunciation of San Martino alla Scala will in fact be on display as scheduled, no less, starting tomorrow at Jerusalem's Israel Museum.

The 15th-century painting has resided at Florence's Uffizi Gallery since 1920. Botticelli (1445 - 1510) initially painted the piece on a wall at the hospital of San Martino alla Scala in Florence.

Meir Bardugo, an aide to Livnat, alongside Israel Museum Director James Synder, confirmed the painting will be making aliyah for a period of four months, and that they and Israel's culture ministry worked 'behind the scenes intensively' to convince Italy the painting would be safe in the Holy Land.

Antonio Natali, head of the Uffizi Gallery, stated that the renowned fresco is currently en route to Jerusalem. The loan was organized by Uffizi and the Italy-Israel Foundation for Culture and the Arts.

Related articles: Israel News, Sandro Botticelli, Italian Art, Museum, Syria
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