Antonio Paolucci, the new Director of the Vatican Museums

7/12/2007 — Appointment — Vatican City, Musei Vaticani — Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Antonio Paolucci Director of the Vatican Museums, replacing the archeologist Francesco Buranelli who has completed his five-year term in the position and has now taken over as head of the secretariat for the Pontifical Commission of the Church’s Cultural Affairs.

At 68, formerly Italian Minister of Culture from 1995 to 1996, Antonio Paolucci is a renowned art historian of the Renaissance. A student of Roberto Longhi, he started out at the Soprintendenza per i Beni Culturali for the Venice Region (1969-1980), then worked for the Mantova-Brescia-Cremona Region (1984-1986) before directing the Office of hard stones and the restoration laboratory in Florence (1986-1988), the Department of Artistic Affairs of Tuscany (1988) and then becoming director of the museums in Florence (2004-2006). He supervised the commission in charge of the restoration of the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assissi after the earthquake in 1997 and is president of the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo. Four years ago he was at the center of the controversy concerning the restoration of Michelangelo’s David in Florence [1]. He is the author of over 300 articles in various journals such as Paragone or Bollettino d’Arte, and of monographic studies on Palmezzano, Signorelli as well as other Florentine artists or monuments.

Created five hundred years ago, the Vatican Museums own some of the major works belonging to classical Western culture and is the fourth most visited museum in the world, attracting 4.3 million people a year.

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Didier Rykner, vendredi 7 décembre 2007


[1] Their arguments having been taken into consideration for the restoration work, its opponents (including James Beck, recently deceased) today acknowledge its success.

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