This work by Leonardo Da Vinci, the Annunciation, is slated to be displayed in Tokyo until mid June. However, a number of Italians are upset about the loan. Italian Senator Paolo Amato pictured below has chained himself to the entrance to the Uffizi gallery in Florence to protest the loan. The BBC has a story here, and an AP story is here.
Cultural policy is a much more prominent part of Italian politics than in many other countries. Amato has accused Italian Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli of being “arrogant” for deciding to agree to the loan. The work has travelled before, to Paris and Milan in the 1930’s, and it was hidden during WWII. However, it has remained in the Uffizi since 1945.
I have very little knowledge of how risky transportation of important works is. The work “was being bundled into three protective crates filled with shock-absorbers and high-tech sensors to monitor humidity, temperatures and stress levels in preparation for departure Tuesday.” That seems pretty secure to me, but I suppose any risk of loss of this important work would be a tragedy.
Thanks to David Nishimura at Cronaca for pointing out the story.