Ancient illuminated manuscripts and pages and illuminations cut out of their original volumes from Italy's numerous religious institutions, stolen and subsequently recovered by the Heritage Protection Unit, celebrate the tremendous task performed over the years by the Carabinieri's art sleuths, focusing visitors' attention on the extreme fragility of our art historical heritage and on the need for protection and proper conservation. The exhibition presents a number of exemplary "case studies" revealing the various methods adopted to reconstruct the history of such items, which have often been tampered with in an attempt to facilitate their sale on the black market. The items can often be traced back to their original physical and geographical context relying on sometimes minimal clues while making optimal use of interdisciplinary expertise.
In addition to explaining the features peculiar to this group of codices in relation to the history of illumination, the exhibition shines the spotlight on the pages recovered to date and, where relevant, also on those that have yet to be found.
The exhibition is curated by Sonia Chiodo.
Pitti Palace, Nicchie Room
24 June - 4 October 2020