Vasari’s Last Supper is back on display - 50 years after flood

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FLORENCE - After the conclusion of a lengthy conservation project, the Italian president Sergio Mattarella attended the unveiling of Giorgio Vasari’s Last Supper (1543).
The panel painting, which is housed in the Museo dell'Opera di Santa Croce, was famously damaged during the flood that caused destruction in Florence in 1966. During the flood, the panel was submerged in polluted water for 12 hours and the unveiling of the restored painting is to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the flood.
The work was carried out by conservators from the Opificio delle Pietre Dure (News in Conservation, Issue 40, February 2014), a government-funded conservation laboratory which undertook the conservation of the five-panel, 8ft by 12ft painting. The work first started in 2010 thanks to an initial grant from the Getty Foundation followed by funds donated by fashion house Prada to allow conservators to repair the painting's poplar panels and re-join them for the first time since the flood. One of the preventive measures adopted is a system of counterweights to raise the painting off the ground in the event of another flood.
The final stage of the project was supported again by Prada, by Italy’s National Civil Protection unit and the Getty Foundation. The Getty involvement in the project is part of its Panel Painting Initiative, launched in conjunction with the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Conservation Institute, in 2009.