Very interesting article about a plan to distribute art pieces throughout Tuscany to relieve the burden on the Uffizi. https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/uffizi-diffusi-tuscany-galleries-overtourism/index.html
Unanswered question in this cheerleading report: Won't the art robbers be happy about insecure targets? What happens when a masterpiece disappears from a display that is not defended by expert (and expensive) safeguards? I applaud the good intentions but think the concept of branch operations -- the Pompidou and Louvre museums have satellite gallery locations, for example -- might be a more pragmatic, and undoubtedly more costly, long-term policy.
The idea is very interesting, but there are some problems:
- safety and security: a masterpiece located in a villa in the countryside must be guarded 24/24 365 days, like in the Uffizi. Have 20/30 places mean more places to be controlled.
- economy: Uffizi has a ticket office with 5/6 seller. If I have 20 location I need at least 20 ticket sellers. And on top much more employees for the services. The cost of this operation is great.
- logistic: if we want to move out from Florence the crowd of tourists, we must even rely on a good public transport system. An example: to reach Vinci (birthplace of Leonardo) on a Sunday the only public transport is by bus: 5 runs only during the day. Could be a good location for a Leonardo's masterpiece? Yes, of course. But isn't easy to be reached. And If the crowd of tourists move around Tuscany by cars mean more cars, more traffic, more pollution (and ZTL problems, cost for parking....).
The great very good point is that we gain space to expose even less important painting and sculptures. The basements of Italian museums are full of pieces that cannot be exposed for lack of space: this could be a good solution to improve the amount of art available.
Another good point is the use of some buildings now closed or almost empty. Italy is plenty of them.
So, I hope they think and solve the three big problems and be able to create a scattered museum.
I think this is a great idea, though I agree that the security situation is a concern. I note that the CNN article refers to "works by 'household names' " but says nothing to suggest works of art currently on display at the Uffizi will be distributed to other locations. Although that might happen, it could be that most of the works sent to new display sites will come out of storage. Perhaps, as lower-profile pieces, they won't be quite so attractive to thieves.
Security may be a problem. On the other hand, Most of the stuff inside Tuscan Museums' basements is too "famous" to be stolen accidentally and then sold to a random fence, but not enough precious to be stolen on commission and hidden in a Dubai vault.
I hope the Carabinieri's TPC unit will index all pieces that exit the Uffizi, if not all at least those that have never been published on some exhibition catalogue.
One other thing, totally unrelated to dispersion of art: The photo illustrating this article should be a cautionary one for tourists wanting to spend multiple days at European beach destinations.
Thanks for posting. Personally, I think that's a great idea. I wish the Smithsonian museums in Washington DC would distribute some its holdings around the country.
These are not new, but there are two Smithsonian Museums in New York City:
Cooper Hewitt Design Museum
National Museum of the American Indian's George Gustav Heye Center
More places in Tuscany could attract more tourists, and their money, if art was dispersed. Attracting art thieves would be a real concern.