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Earlier this month Italy’s Culture Ministry said that it would delay the loan of Sandro Botticelli’s The Annunciation of San Martino alla Scala (1481) to the Israel Museum because the timing was “not appropriate.” Following the announcement, Israeli Culture Minister Limor Livnat did all she could to assure her Italian counterpart that there was no danger in the artwork going on view in Israel. While many speculated that Italy’s decision to delay the loan was due to conflict in Syria, museum officials claimed that conservation issues were to blame for the near postponement.

Ultimately, on Tuesday, September 17, 2013, the work went on view at the Israel Museum as planned. The Annunciation is a large fresco that was originally painted on a hospital wall in Florence. After suffering significant damage, it was removed in 1920 and transferred to the Uffizi Gallery, where it underwent restoration. James Snyder, the Israel Museum’s director, said that the work has a deep connection to the Holy Land since the annunciation story took place in Nazareth, and “the landscape in the fresco is the landscape of this ancient land.”  

The loan is part of celebrations in honor of Israel’s 65th anniversary.

Published in News
Thursday, 12 September 2013 18:47

Italy Postpones Botticelli Loan to Israeli Museum

Amid Syria fears, Italy’s culture ministry in Rome announced that it will delay its loan of a famous 15th-century painting by Sandro Botticelli to Israel because the timing is “not appropriate.” The Renaissance masterpiece The Annunciation of San Martino alla Scala was supposed to be sent to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem for inclusion in an exhibition opening on September 17, 2013.

The culture ministry said that it would send another painting of equal cultural and artistic content. The Uffizi Gallery organized the loan as part of celebrations for Israel’s 65th anniversary.

The Annunciation is a large fresco that was originally painted on a hospital wall in Florence. It was removed in 1920 and transferred to the Uffizi, where it underwent restoration.

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