Sandro Botticelli at the Israel Museum

Sandro Botticelli at the Israel Museum

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The Israel museum exhibited on September 17 a painting by the famous Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli after great diplomatic efforts to guarantee the safety of the work.

Earlier this month, Italy announced the delay in the delivery of the loan granted to Israel for the work “The Annunciation of San Martino alla Scala”. The Ministry of Culture in Rome argued that the timing of delivery was inappropriate.

Italy's decision coincided with the tensions that arose in the region due to the possibility of the US militarily intervening in Syria. This week the museum announced that the Botticelli, which is the first painting to be exhibited in Israel, would arrive on time as planned.

A spokesperson for the Israeli Culture Minister, Limor Livnat, informed AFP that the minister did everything in her power to convince Italians that “There was no danger in bringing the masterpiece, as well as that the museum was in full condition to ensure its protection”. According to a museum representative, the maneuver consisted of reinforcing preventive measures against possible damage to the work.

Painted in 1481, the work was dedicated to the hospital of San Martino alla Scala, in Florence. After being seriously damaged, it was taken to a restoration workshop in Florence in 1920.

The director of the Israel Museum, James Snyder, declared Tuesday that the painting had a deep connection with the Holy Land since the annunciation of Nazareth took place. In addition, he added “the landscape depicted in the fresco is the same as that of the ancient territories”.

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