Robert Edsel's Blog

Blog entries for the ‘Florence Italy’ Category

47th Anniversary of the Flood of the Arno River

November 4th, 2013 | 11:37 am

“On November 4, 1966, in Florence the Arno river swollen with dark, muddy waters, spilled over sweeping away everything in its way. When the waters subsided, only destruction enveloped the city.” –4 Novembre 1966. L’alluvione a Firenze

(photo: Wikipedia)

Today marks the 47th anniversary of that horrible night, when the historic center of Florence, with its churches, monuments and works of art, was damaged. Voluntaries of various nationalities, called “the angels of the mud,” came to Florence to save books and works of art from destruction. Our very own Frederick Hartt took a leave of absence to aid Florence, traveling throughout the United States to raise money to cover the cost of restoring damaged works of art as a board member of the Committee for the Rescue of Italian Art.

(photo: Wikipedia)

Damages to the artistic and historical heritage were considerable. Thousands of precious volumes from the National Library of Florence, were completely destroyed, and approximately 60 percent of Cimabue’s extraordinary Crucifix of Santa Croce was irreversibly lost.


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