Venice’s Accademia Doubles in Size for the Biennale

The Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice will reopen five rooms next April, in time for the 2015 Venice Biennale, the Art Newspaper reports. These are to be followed by a further six galleries later this year, doubling the museum’s exhibition space from 5,000 to 10,000 sq. meters.

Many masterpieces by the likes of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Luca Giordano, and Pietro da Cortona will be displayed in these new rooms, some of them leaving storage for the first time in decades.

Samsung Italy and the US non-profit organization Venetian Heritage have brought €600,000 to the project, which will complete renovation works that had to stop due to lack of funds.

Giovanna Damiani, who heads the Venetian Museum Authority, said that these inaugurations were “the conclusion of a project that has been close to our hearts for a long time, after a restoration that has lasted more than ten years. We hope it is the beginning of a long collaboration.”

Italy is increasingly reliant on private sponsorship to fund the maintenance of its rich cultural heritage. The luxury brand Tod’s has committed €25 million to the refurbishment of the Coliseum in Rome, and Bulgari is shelling out $2 million for the capital’s iconic Spanish Steps (see “Luxury Brands Fund Restoration of Italy’s Monuments”)

“Our doors are wide open for all the philanthropists and donors who want to tie their name to an Italian monument,” Italy’s culture minister, Dario Franceschini, once told the New York Times. “We have a long list, as our heritage offers endless options, from small countryside churches to the Colosseum. Just pick.”

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