Inside the Galleria dell’Accademia.

After 2016 Earthquakes, Italy Plans to Protect Major Works

Hannah McGivern and Laura Lombardi of the Art Newspaper write that Italy is looking to structurally reinforce major works of Western art after the 2016 earthquakes, which took the lives of nearly three hundred people and demolished the fourteenth-century Basilica of Saint Benedict in Norcia, a town located in southeastern Umbria.

In 2014, geoscientists from Italy’s National Research Council found microfractures in the ankles of Michelangelo’s David, 1501–1504, which may cause the five-ton statute, housed in Florence’s Galleria dell’Accademia, to topple under its own weight in the event of a severe tremor. The architect Fernando De Simone is asking the city council to consider building an earthquake-proof museum to house the David and other significant works located throughout Florence. Cecile Hollberg, the Galleria dell’Accademia’s director, has created plans to protect works of art from earthquakes with the Italian culture minister, Dario Franceschini.

The Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, which oversees the Duomo and the monuments within its vicinity, is carrying out a plan to closely scrutinize the foundations, materials, and stability of Giotto di Bondone’s campanile. The plan, which is scheduled for completion in November 2017, will outline all of the campanile’s cracks in addition to surveying the ground upon which it stands. Francesco Gurrieri, a superintendent for the preservation of the city’s architecture, is working with the opera on this endeavor.

The Italian government has asked the EU for funds to continue reconstruction efforts in its central regions. The European Commission gave Italy a grant of more than $31 million in December from the EU’s solidarity fund.