The Caravaggio from Malta at Palazzo Vecchio
Interview with Prof. Guido Clemente,
City of Florence Councillor for Culture
by Sandro Pintus
Councillor Clemente, what gave you the idea of organizing the Caravaggio exhibition here in Florence at Palazzo Vecchio?
I got the idea during a visit to Malta for the Prehistoric Art in Malta exhibition and thought it would be perfect for the European Summit Meeting that was held in Florence last June. When I saw the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, I asked if we could have the painting on loan to exhibit in Florence and suggested having it restored, something the Maltese government was only too pleased to accept.
What kind of restoration does it need?
There are two different problems that need to be resolved: the first is a superficial scratch that is invisible to the naked eye and therefore makes no difference to the viewing of the painting, but which could deteriorate in time, while the second is the delicate state of the paint which has suffered from damp. The general situation of the painting is not dramatic but it is in need of restoration.
When will this restoration start and how long will it take?
Once the exhibition is over, the painting will be transferred elsewhere to carry out the necessary restoration, which will take about six months. The work will not be on view during restoration but will be exhibited in Palazzo Vecchio again next spring.
The City Councillor for Culture of Florence Prof. Guido Clemente
(Foto Torrini fotogiornalismo)
Does Malta have any other interesting works of art?
There is another small Caravaggio as well as a series of frescoes that are undamaged.
What other exhibitions are you planning for the near future?
We will shortly be holding an exhibition on the 1966 flood in Florence and a programme should be ready by September with all the other initiatives being organized.
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Silvia Messeri & SandroPintus