Antonio Natali's lecture for the presentation of the new Uffizi

Antonio Natali, art historian and director of the Uffizi Gallery, presents in this lecture, the video of which we provide with a list of highlights, the new Uffizi fittings.

A lecture with guest speaker Antonio Natali, director of the Uffizi Gallery, was held on Wednesday, September 19, at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, during which the art historian illustrated the new Uffizi layouts by talking about the new halls and taking the opportunity to reflect on some of the current issues affecting the world of art history (the relationship between art and economics, loans for exhibitions, art history in schools, etc.). We provide below the full video of the lecture, and further below also a list with the highlights of Antonio Natali’s talk (with some quotation marks of the sentences to which we thought it was interesting to give prominence) and of the discussion with the audience in the room. For each of the points we indicate the exact minute-length so as to make it easier to browse. Enjoy the viewing!

Antonio Natali’s speech on the new Uffizi.

  • 10:13 a.m. - “If they take the David out of the Academy Gallery no one goes anymore, it can close. This is one of the other disasters of the current fetishism of the cultural industry.”
  • 11:00 - Economy and cultural heritage. Loans and exhibitions.
  • 14:40 - “I often feel like I’m running more of a quarry mining than a museum.” Loan requests to the Uffizi and other museums.
  • 24:40 - Works of art in storage.
  • 25:43 -"Masterpieces, another word that recurs again and again: masterpieces, secret masterpieces, mysterious masterpieces ... all to revolve around money."
  • 26:45 - The new staircase connecting the Historical Gallery to the new rooms.
  • 27:14 - The monumental staircase.
  • 30:40 - The Buontalentian Tribune.
  • 39:22 - The Stanzino delle Matematiche.
  • 41:45 - "The intention is not to take works from storage and bring them into the gallery. The intention is to dilute the works so that they can finally be looked at as figurative texts and not as fetishes next to each other to say I’ve been there. If they are figurative texts, they are poetic texts that are expressed in figure, they have to be read as poetic texts, and so between one painting and the next there has to be that pause necessary to encourage a paused reading."
  • 44:48 - “Depots are the place where taste decants, where today are works that yesterday were in the gallery and tomorrow perhaps will return to the depots, because this is the story: they are not dusty shelters, they are places where taste lets the transit of culture have its reverberations in the gallery aspect.”
  • 45:45 - The rooms of the foreign schools (blue).
  • 51:15 - The rooms of the Modern Manner (red).
  • 1:01:12 - Advances on the new Michelangelo room.
  • 1:04:22 - Isozaki’s exit.

The discussion with the audience

  • 1:07:36 - 1. How difficult is it, at a time like this for Italy, to find funds to carry out works such as those you illustrated just now?
  • 1:09:22 - 2. Reflection on the role of museums and art history in education
  • 1:15:58 - 3. Reflection on the role of museums and art history for civil society
  • 1:23:30 - 4. Reflection on art history in Italian schools
  • 1:32:46 - 5. Question on the choices for the Uffizi Tribune layout
  • 1:36:44 - 6. Reflection on museum didactics.

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