Faced with a dismal budget that forced his museum employees to wash the car windows of their clients
Not suprisingly the director of the Uffizi museum in Florence
has decided to act accordingly. Having contacted the artist and the subject for approval -just as Mr. Manfredi- last Friday Boticelli and his Venus witnessed the burning of his masterpiece. When the artist was interviewed he stated, "I felt weary moving my bones after some centuries of idleness, but for a good cause, and so that Italians remember that art isn't free, I said 'what the heck, let's do it.'"
Venus, on the other hand, said with a soft chuckle: "I suppose you could say I've felt a chill being naked -I mean nude- for so many years. I love my body and it's a pity so many won't be able to see it, I mean the young people and future generations and stuff like that, but I think a little fire will feel good and I hope do good for Italia!"
The Birth of Venus, Boticelli
It was feared that the choice of the Medusa was more complicated; her spell could still be intact and thus bringing her back was a risk. However, the Medusa, keeping her eyes fixed to the black and white tiled floor said (over the hissing of the snakes in her hair), "I'ma reallya pleased to be here to see my painting burned! Don't get me wrong, I lova the expression of my face. But I no wanna see museum staff washing cars or windshields or whateva. It just pisses me off."
Then there was the little trio -remember the average height during the renaissance was 5'5"- all standing face to face like talking Egyptian. There was Piero, Federico and his wife, Signora Montefeltro. Federico, being a big art supporter, spoke out first: "I don't care if if this situation started with Berlusconi or now is a Monti problem. I don't wanna hear it's a north or south issue. Art has no boundries" he said, keeping his profile fixed on his wife's, "and if the economy is bad, so what. In my days we had problems too. I was a condottieri, a mercenary in charge. And sometimes we had to fight for what we believed in. I didn't allow my guys to wash the horses or anything because I made sure they was a paid for what they worked."
Piero della Francesca, standing behind Federico's wife, some say trying to wake her up, simply stated, "I couldn't have said it better. You can burn all my paintings, cazzo!"
There seems to be a change in the air regarding museum funding that is spreading beyond Italian borders. Culture is the first budget to be axed. At the National Gallery in London, Hans Aznavoor, a curator, has set out not only to invite Paolo Ucello, but the original combatants of Florence and Siena that figured in the Battle of San Romano. "I want all the warriors in their original armors to bring a torch and light up the painting. It's time people learn what real perspective is about!"