Uffizi Restored ’93 Bomb Blast Works Displayed

Left, a copy of The ‘Card Players’ as it was before the bomb blast; right, the damaged painting after extensive restoration.

Two paintings damaged at the Uffizi during the 1993 Georgofoli bomb blast will be displayed at the museum until Sunday, July 28 in commemoration of the 31st anniversary of the explosion.

The paintings, The Concert and The Card Players, both by the Baroque painter Bartolomeo Manfredi, a follower of Caravaggio, and dated between 1617 and 1618, are the first and last paintings to be reconstructed from the effects of the bomb damage. The Concert was recomposed months after the tragedy took place in 1993, while The Card Players was reconstructed in 2018. Manfredi’s works will be displayed alongside copies of the perfectly intact works of art in their original state, before the explosion, and a documentary about those involved in the via dei Georgofili car bomb, which caused deaths on a neighboring street, with the testimonies of the firefighters and museum workers present through video testimonies.

In addition to claiming the lives of five people, the mafia-driven explosion of the 277 kilos of TNT of the explosion damaged 173 paintings and 56 sculptures at the Uffizi Gallery. Thousands of canvas fragments were collected and cataloged in the wake of the attack, allowing for the partial econstruction of works like Manfredi’s over the next few decades.

“Remembering and making people remember is the duty of the museum and of everyone; from this exhibition comes a message of strong civil determination for the future,” said Uffizi director Simone Verde. 

The Uffizi Gallery is open from 8:15 am to 6:30 pm every day except Monday. Those wishing to pay tribute to the memory of the bomb blast can purchase tickets for 25€, though some guests may be entitled to free admission and reduced-price tickets. Tickets can be purchased online or in person at the ticket office until 5:30 pm. (Kyla Pehr)