Today, May 27, 2013, marks the 20th anniversary of the 1993 car bomb attack in Via dei Georgofili that blasted through the side of the Uffizi Gallery and killed five innocent people, including two young children, who lived in a nearby building. The bombing left structural damage to the building, destroyed three paintings and badly damaged many others. Over one million dollars worth of repair was needed. The people of Florence rallied in the streets to protest this attack on their city, which is the birthplace of the Renaissance.
Within two months of the bombing, Amici degli Uffizi, our sister and founding organization, was created in Florence to help raise funds for restoration of the damaged art and for structural repairs to the Uffizi Gallery. Since that time, working collaboratively, our organizations have funded the restorations of many of the Uffizi Gallery’s priceless treasures. These include the beautiful new Michelangelo Room that opened in January of this year. The focal point of this room is Michelangelo’s magnificent “Tondo Doni,” his only known surviving late-panel painting. The Amici also recently funded the restoration of three of the oldest works found at the gallery.
This year, the Uffizi Gallery was named the world’s greatest gallery by The Times of London. The gallery is Italy’s top visitor attraction and draws more visitors than any other museum in the country.