Museums Italy

Uffizi increases exhibition space by over a quarter in 2012

But staff shortage keeps one room closed

The Niobe Room at the Uffizi Galleries, Florence

An additional 1,800 sq. m of floor space was added to the Uffizi Galleries in Florence last year, expanding the museum’s exhibition space by 27%. Two new rooms were recently inaugurated—one dedicated to paintings by Alessandro Allori and Giorgio Vasari, and another to works by various Florentine artists from the second half of the 16th century.

The 260 sq. m Niobe Room, designed in the 18th century and home to a number of statues originally from the Villa Medici, Rome, has been reopened after a year and a half of structural restoration to the floor, which had to be strengthened to support the weight of the statues (between 2,000kg and 3,000kg).

The work was funded by the Palm Beach-based non-profit organisation, Friends of the Uffizi Gallery, along with their sister organisation in Italy, Amici degli Uffizi. More space was also created when the display of works in the Michelangelo room was thematically reorganised.

Another one of the new rooms, however, known as the “Sala Blu”, which opened in December 2011 and shows works by foreign artists from the 16th and 17th centuries, has stayed closed after work was recently carried out to its air conditioning system, because of a shortage of security staff at the museum.

The Sala Blu is still closed because of a staff shortage
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