The Uffizi goes to China. Ten exhibitions in Shanghai featuring works by Botticelli and others

The Uffizi has signed an agreement with Shanghai's Bund One Art Museum: ten exhibitions will be organized over five years, featuring works by Botticelli, Raphael, Canaletto and other greats. To the Florentine museum 2 million euros and percentages on receipts.

The Uffizi Galleries and the Bund One Art Museum in Shanghai have signed a collaboration agreement that will lead to the creation of ten exhibitions in five years, between 2022 and 2027: all the exhibitions will be held in China, in the Shanghai museum, and will feature numerous works from the Uffizi’s permanent collection, including some of the most important masterpieces. Also under the agreement, Florence and Shanghai will work together to arrange cultural exchanges and study opportunities.

The first three exhibitions in China, to be held in the period April 2022-July 2023, have also already been decided: in return for the possibility of having works by Botticelli and other great Uffizi artists in Shanghai, the Bund One Art Museum will pay the Florentine museum a contribution of more than 2 million euros, plus a variable fee dependent on ticket receipts. The first exhibition, opening in the spring of 2022, will be Botticelli and the Renaissance, with about fifty works on display to reveal the art of Sandro Botticelli and some well-known artists who were his contemporaries. The second exhibition will be held between September 2022 and January 2023: it will be titled Self-Portraits, Masterpieces from the Uffizi, and will display a selection of the Uffizi’s exceptional collection of self-portraits, with works ranging from the 16th century to the 21st century. The third exhibition, from March to July 2023, will be Masterpieces of the Eighteenth Century from the Uffizi, with a selection intended to illustrate the variety of schools of the eighteenth century. Among the works that will leave for China are Botticelli’s Pallas and the Centaur (the great Renaissance artist’s Ascent of Christ to Calvary and Flagellation will also leave), the Kiss of Judas by the Master of Marradi, Biagio d’Antonio’s Justice, Raphael’sSelf-Portrait, and Canaletto’s View of the Doge’s Palace in Venice.

The multi-year project is supported by the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy in the People’s Republic of China and the Consulate General of Italy in Shanghai and the Italian Cultural Institute in Shanghai, and aims to promote the enhancement of the Italian museum system and artistic heritage in the world. Bund One Art Museum, for its part, pursues the mission of offering the Chinese public the opportunity to discover original works by the most adored masters of Italian art in China.

“This initiative,” said Culture Minister Dario Franceschini, “has the strategic value of intensifying knowledge and appreciation for Italian cultural heritage in a hub like Shanghai, which faces the great Chinese stage and offers Italian culture global resonance.”

“The agreement reached from next year,” emphasizes Ambassador Luca Ferrari, “will bring to China one of the most renowned collections in the world for uniqueness and historical value, contributing to the rich program of promotional events of theAnno della Cultura e del Turismo Italia-Cina 2022.”

“With this multi-year collaboration,” says Michele Cecchi, Italian consul in Shanghai, “Italian artistic excellence will be the protagonist of the Bund cultural scene in the coming years, contributing to give extraordinary visibility to the genius and creativity of our country in Shanghai.”

“The continued presence of the Uffizi in Shanghai over the next five years,” pointed out Eike D. Schmidt, director of the Uffizi, “is strategic for the direct knowledge of our collections - rich, diverse and unique in the world - and of Italy itself in China. It is a mutually beneficial cooperation of great global significance, capable of opening and sustaining deep dialogues between cultures, and welding friendship between our two peoples.”

According to Dario Nardella, mayor of Florence, “the agreement that will bring the Uffizi to Shanghai is a historic achievement of Italian cultural diplomacy. After years of work a goal is realized that I have been trying to foster since 2015, my first year as mayor, on the occasion of a mission that was held precisely in Shanghai. Now, thanks to the commitment of the Italian government and in particular Ministers Franceschini and Di Maio, as well as the city of Florence and Director Schmidt, Italy is launching the most ambitious plan for international cultural promotion toAsia. It is also a friendly response to the French project of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi. For Florence, this is a great opportunity for tourism and cultural promotion in the most populous country in the world and in one of the most dynamic economies. The economic and political spin-offs for the coming years in favor of Italy and Florence are priceless.”

The Uffizi goes to China. Ten exhibitions in Shanghai featuring works by Botticelli and others
The Uffizi goes to China. Ten exhibitions in Shanghai featuring works by Botticelli and others

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