Please enable JavaScript to experience the full functionality of

Will populist politics undo a renaissance at Italy's Uffizi?

FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — The Uffizi Galleries in Florence have experienced a renaissance thanks to administrative changes that have given Italy's top state-run museums autonomy and allowed foreigners at the helm.

Revenues are up. Makeovers of rooms with masterpieces by Botticelli, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci received rave reviews. However, the Uffizi's German director along with two other foreign museum heads — of the seven from outside Italy — plan to leave when their four-year contacts are up in October.

Populist politics is roiling Italy's art world. What's been described as a cultural counter-reformation is threatening to strip some museums of their decision-making authority and to again centralize the approval of expenditures back to the bureaucracy in Rome.

The plan spared the Uffizi, but Florence's Accademia Gallery, home to Michelangelo's iconic David, could lose its autonomy.

Sponsored Content