FLORENCE – ‘Jeff Koons marry me’ that is ‘Jeff Koons marry me’, is the large writing in large letters in English written for about twenty meters and with white water tempera paint on the ashlar of two facades of Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. It was made by a man with his face covered, alone, in the middle of the night but captured by cameras. The traffic police investigate.
The building, a rare example of a large Renaissance residence that has survived intact to the present day, hosts the exhibition ‘Shine’ by the same artist until January 30th.
“The phrase provocatively refers to Jeff Koons, protagonist of the great exhibition in progress – say from the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation -, an exhibition that has already exceeded 100 thousand admissions to date, positioning itself among the most visited exhibition events in Italy”. There is a lot of indignation. “A serious act of vandalism against one of the symbols of history and culture in Florence”, is always underlined by the Foundation. “We cannot remain indifferent in the face of such a serious fact”, says Arturo Galansino, director general of the Foundation, “an act like this goes against the decorum of the city, the respect for its beauty and its history and, more generally, of the common good that we must all defend. It is an unspeakable gesture towards a symbol of culture, inclusion and education for Florence and Italy which, as such, must be defended and preserved. Such havoc must never repeat itself in the future “. The director of the Uffizi, Eike Schmidt, also puts his hat on it while on the hills north of Florence he was paying homage to the Elettrice Palatina in the villa where the great donor lived in the summer. “Here – said Schmidt also addressing Rome – we need a legislative decree that has the function of discouraging people who stain monuments that are unique in the world of the Renaissance and of our past”.
“We need to increase the fines for soiling – he continued – which are really low. There was already a bill two years ago”.
In the same vein, the governor of Tuscany Eugenio Giani, who is to increase the fines because “we cannot live under the sword of Damocles in an area so rich in cultural heritage, but with the damage that often ritually characterizes it”. Mayor Dario Nardella speaks of “shameful writings”, “we do not accept acts of gratuitous violence against cultural heritage”. The fouling was discovered early in the morning. The writing extends on the outer corner between piazza Strozzi and via Strozzi, in the center, it was fully visible until it was covered with black sheets. The Municipality immediately activated the cleaning operation, which will be followed by a restoration of the ashlar, the worked Renaissance stone, which was offended by the vandalism blitz. From the first letters removed, it appears that most of the white tempera has come off with more water and a soft brush. However, residues of color have entered the porosity of the ashlar and a slight patina remains, so a targeted stone restoration will be required to remove it.
Source From: Ansa