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Latest News

This section offers the latest news from the museum, on planned events and more.

Thanks to a special agreement between the museum management and union representatives, the Accademia Gallery will have special openings on Monday, April 25th and Monday, May 2nd.

On both days, the opening hours will follow normal hours, from 8:15am to 6:50pm.

As set be regulations, the museum will remain closed on May 1st.

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The special opening on Easter Monday has been confirmed for March 28, 2016. The museum will also be open on Easter Sunday.

The Accademia museum will be open on both days from 8.15am to 6.50pm.

You can book your tickets ahead of time to avoid long queues at the ticket entrance. Check our page on how to book your tickets for more details!

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The Accademia Gallery is closed on Mondays. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on at the museum when its doors are closed to the public, we’re here to share a little bit of what does occur.

As you might imagine, anything that needs to occur when there are no crowds are reserved for these days. This past Monday, new Accademia Gallery director Cecilie Hollberg offered the chance to glimpse an extremely rare view of Michelangelo’s masterpiece, David, as restorers armed with vacuum cleaners and soft brushes dusted the marble statue.

dusting-david The operation is considered routine maintenance for the famous work of art. Just like normal housecleaning, the museum uses Mondays as a day to dust and check up on their works. David, in particular, is dusted every 2-3 months on average, while during the busiest months, it is dusted and checked about every 4-5 weeks. The Accademia welcomes over 1.4 millions visitors a year, many interested in seeing David in particular.

A limited group of reporters were granted exclusive access this Monday to the scaffolding used by the restorers’ to see the marble statue up close and we’re sharing our images with you!

david-halfway-upClimbing the two-story, mobile scaffolding (to move around the entire statue easily in one day), you realize how imposing the 14-foot-tall statue actually is. The first level gets you roughly to David’s waist – and the view is absolutely breathtaking.

david-eye-level

As you reach the top of the 20-foot-high scaffolding, you get the rare privilege of looking straight into David’s eyes. And realize he most definitely is frowning in concentration, and that he has a leather strong around his forehead.

The routine maintenance is funded by the U.S. non-profit organization, Friends of Florence, who have supported the museum since 2003, when David underwent a major restoration in preparation for his 500th birthday. This past Monday, another full year of support was pledged by Simonetta Brandolini d’Adda, president of the non-profit, to the museum. Funding also supports maintenance on Michelangelo’s Prisoners, St. Matthew, the Pietà of Palestrina, the 22 paintings in the Tribune that surround David and the clay model of the Rape of the Sabines by Giambologna found in the Hall of the Colossus.

According to Hollberg, regular dusting allows restorers to keep a watchful eye on the marble sculpture.

“David is in good health,” Hollberg said.

To learn more about Michelangelo and David, read this.

david-back-view

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The Accademia will be closed on December 25th and January 1, 2016.

On December 24 and 31, the museum will close at 6pm, with last entrance allowed at 5.30pm.
It will also remain closed on Monday, December 28th and Monday, January 4th (as it normally is closed on Mondays).

On Saturday, December 19th, the museum will have extra opening hours and will remain open until 11pm (last entrance at 10.30pm).

On all other days, the museum will follow normal opening times.

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The Accademia Gallery, usually closed on Mondays, will be open on December 7th to offer visitors to Florence the chance to visit over the long holiday of the Immaculate (December 8th).

The Accademia will be open from 8:15am until 6:50pm (last entrance for the Accademia it is at 6:20pm). Normal admission cost applies. The day, being a special opening, cannot be booked online – it can only be booked by phone at 055-294-883.

Also remember that the day before, on December 6th, entrance into these all State museums in Florence (including the Uffizi, Medici Chapels and the Bargello), will be FREE entry to everyone as part of the “Sunday at the Museum” initiative where the first Sunday of every month is free.

If the line is too long on Sunday, we really suggest waiting and going on Monday!

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A German woman, Cecilie Hollberg, is to be the new director of the Accademia Gallery in Florence. The Accademia, second museum in Italy for its total number of visitors after the Uffizi Gallery, has the most sculptures by Michelangelo in the world (seven), including the famous David.

Hollberg is one of seven foreigners selected to head some of the top museums in Italy: the Uffizi Gallery in Florence will have another German, Eike Schmidt, while a French woman will lead the Museum of Capodimonte in Naples and the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan will be run by  a Canadian-English man (James Bradburne, who up until a few months ago was the director of the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence).

The announcement came yesterday from MiBACT as the international competition drew to a close with the selection of the 20 new directors of some of Italy’s top museums. Four of the 13 Italians selected will return to Italy after important experiences abroad, while the winds, 10 are men, 10 are women.

Hollberg, 48, art historian and cultural manager, born in Soltau in Lower Saxony, completed her university studies in history and political science in Rome, Göttingen, Monaco, Germany, Venice and Trento. In 2001, she received her doctorate in medieval history in Göttingen.

Since 2010,  Hollberg has been director of the Städtisches Museum in Brunswick. Previously, she worked as a curator and scientific-technical officer in the museum sector in Leipzig, Dresden and Berlin. She teaches at universities in Germany and Switzerland and is the author of numerous publications.

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This year, the Accademia Gallery will NOT have a special opening on the evening of April 30th as part of the city’s “White Night” program nor will it be open on May 1st. There was no agreement between the employee unions to have enough staff to open the museum for the times that were necessary for the museum to be open. The museum will remain open on April 30th until normal closing times, which is 18.50.

If you’re in Florence on April 30th and May 1, take a look at this post which has a list of museums that will be open for the White Night and on May 1st.

The museum is open on May 2nd and 3rd; on May 3rd entrance will be free for everyone as part of Italy’s “First Sunday of the Month” cultural initiative offering free entrance to all State museums.

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The Accademia Gallery will be open on Easter Sunday, April 5th, with its regular hours (8.15am-6.50pm) and with FREE entrance to everyone (as it is the first Sunday of the month).

It will also have a special opening on Monday, April 6th, again with normal hours but with normal paid entrance. You can pre-book tickets for Monday online, but not for Sunday.

Take time to visit the special temporary exhibit dedicated to St. Francis that just opened yesterday at the Accademia.

See you this weekend!

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Between December 18th and 21st, Florence and Tuscany were rocked by more than 200 earthquakes, the highest at magnitude 3.8 and 4 on the Richter scale. The epicenter for most was in Chianti, the wine-growing region, between Florence and Siena. While there were no injuries nor major damages reported, many people fled their homes in Greve, 30 km (about 20 miles) south of Florence, as they feared more serious quakes. By Christmas Day, most of the quakes in Tuscany had subsided, moving south with tremors felt between Arezzo and Perugia, then Molise and even in Calabria (although experts say they are not connected).

This has prompted the Italian government to speed up plans planned for a new pedestal for Michelangelo‘s David for extra protection. Dario Franceschini, the Culture Minister, said the funds of € 200,000 would be provided by the Italian State to build an anti-seismic platform beneath the almost 17 foot (5.16 meter) statue in the Accademia Gallery. Earlier this year, Italian scientists reported that the statue, created by Michelangelo between 1501 and 1504 (see more facts here), was in danger of collapsing because of tiny fractures in its ankles: tests confirmed fears that it had been weakened by its own weight of more than five tons as well as by damage from traffic and vibrations caused by the millions of tourists who flock to see it every year.

“The earthquake in Florence fortunately did not damage the government’s cultural assets,” Mr Franceschini said as he announced funding to save the statue. “But it has made the need to approve this project even more urgent. A masterpiece like David must not be left to any risk.”

Earthquakes are common in Italy, so scientists have been at the forefront of developing anti-seismic bases made of marble to protect the country’s vulnerable statues. A special plinth was developed for the 2,500-year-old statues known as the Bronzes of Riace in the southern city of Reggio Calabria. The two warriors, discovered in the sea in 1972, stand on two square marble plinths lined with spheres that are designed to roll when the statues are placed under pressure.

The last major earthquake in Italy was in April 2009, of 6.3 magnitude on Richter scale and killed 309 people in L’Aquila.

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During this holiday season, the Accademia Gallery will be closed only on December 25th, December 29th and January 1st.

It will have a special opening on Monday, January 5th during the weekend of the Epiphany on January 6th.

A great chance to see the new lighting and setup of the Florentine Gothic rooms and the special exhibit of the marble Arnina right alongside the gesso statue by Lorenzo Bartolini.

sala-di-giotto

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