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September 17, 2013 By:
Italy Proceeds With 15th Century Masterpiece Loan to Israel
ROME — Italy has gone ahead with the loan of a 15th century masterpiece by Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli to Israel that had been held up over the uncertain situation in Syria.
The fresco was shipped to Israel under armed guard and went on show at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem this week as originally scheduled, officials said.
Italy was to have sent “Annunciation of San Martino alla Scala” to Israel at the beginning of September, to be shown for several months as part of Israel’s 65th birthday celebration. But an Italian Culture Ministry communique on Rosh Hashanah said that because of the current security situation regarding Syria, it was not the appropriate time to send the masterpiece.
Meir Bardugo, aide to Israeli Culture Minister Limor Livnat, said Sunday that the minister worked “behind the scenes intensively” to convince Italy that the work would be safe, according to the Associated Press.