OPEN AND RESTORE: Prada celebrates the opening of its new flagship in Florence announcing it will finance the restoration of Giorgio Vasari’s “Last Supper,” which was seriously damaged during the devastating Florence flood of 1966.

The works will be conducted by the Laboratorio dell’ Opificio delle Pietre Dure, a Florence-based public institute controlled by the country’s Ministry for Cultural Affairs focused on the conservation and restoration of Italy’s artistic heritage, in collaboration with FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano), the Italian National Trust.

The works, kicking off this year, will include a diagnostic and pre-consolifdation phase for the color, then the restoration will focus on the support and then on the actual painting, which will be finally put in a customized frame. This intervention follows the conservative one on the wooden panels conducted in 2010 by the Getty Foundation, the Getty Conservation Institute and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

“The restoration of Giorgio Vasari’s ‘Last Supper’ is a dream come true and the final victory over the damage caused by the flood in 1966,” said Opificio dell Pietre Dure director Marco Ciatti. “This work, which was considered to be beyond repair, has been kept in the storeroom for the past 40 years, until the Opificio delle Pietre Dure decided to tackle this new challenge, inventing innovative solutions for this project that perfectly typify its activity: operativeness and research, combined with the conservation of the artistic heritage. Thanks to the contribution of Prada and the collaboration of FAI, for which the Opificio is extremely grateful, it will now be possible to make progress on this important restoration in a significant way, making it possible to bring nearer the date on which the public will be able to enjoy the painting once more.”

This initiative marks Prada’s fourth collaboration with FAI. Previously, the Milanese fashion company financed two restorative interventions in the Apulia region in 2010 — the Antonio Vivarini’s polyptych of the Pinacoteca Provinciale di Bari and the well of the Abbazia di santa Maria di Cerrate, close to Lecce; it supported the restoration of the Sacello di San Prosdocimo in Padua’s Abbazia di Santa Giustina in 2012, while last year, in Bologna, it promoted the restoration of four large large chalk statues owned by the Accademia delle Belle Arti, along with three arches of Palazzo dell’ Archiginnasio.

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