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Uffizi masterpieces show Black culture's role in the Renaissance

04 Jul, 2020
The painting "Perseus frees Andromeda" by Piero di Cosimo is seen at the Uffizi gallery.
The painting "Perseus frees Andromeda" by Piero di Cosimo is seen at the Uffizi gallery.

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s Uffizi gallery said on Thursday it was planning to pick out nine of its masterpieces for a project to highlight the part that Black people and culture played in the Renaissance.

Under the “Black Presence” initiative, images of works including Cristofano dell’Altissimo’s “Portrait of the King of Abyssinia” will be posted online from this weekend for a series of discussions and other events.

“The idea is also to offer food for thought in the debate on racial issues currently making the front pages and taking centre stage in the political debate,” the gallery said in a statement.

Opening events on Saturday include a concert in front of Piero di Cosimo’s “Perseus Freeing Andromeda” which has a Black musician playing in the foreground.

Staff said a series of eight videoed discussions will be posted on Facebook every week throughout the summer.

“(Uffizi) masterpieces speak a universal language that helps us not only to comprehend their own era better, but also to understand the future that we wish to build”, Uffizi director Eike Schmidt said.

Other paintings included “Adoration of the Magi” by Albrecht Dürer.