The Uffizi Gallery sends its art from Florence to Shanghai to help boost tourism in China and brings in $6 million in return

Visitors to the Bund One Art Museum in Shanghai will be treated to an international exhibition offered by the Uffizi Galleries this fall. “Self-Portraits: Masterpieces from the Uffizi Gallery,” which opens September 9 and runs through January 8, 2023, includes some 50 works by artists ranging from Raphael and Rembrandt to Yayoi Kusama and Cai Guoqiang.

The exhibition is the first to launch a series of 10 exhibitions that the Florence-based museum will lend to China over the next five years. Among other exhibitions planned, an exhibition dedicated to Botticelli will open in March 2023, with works by the Florentine master as well as his teacher Fra Filippo Lippi, Cosimo Rosselli and Lorenzo di Credi, and a spotlight on works from the 18th century. The partnership with the Bund Museum generates some $6 million for the Uffizi, the art diary reports.

This effort is part of the Italy-China Culture and Tourism Initiative, jointly announced by the Italian Cultural Institute and the Consulate General of Italy in Shanghai. Tourism has been hit hard by the pandemic in China, where in March 2022 institutions in Shanghai including the Long Museum, West Bund Museum, Yuz Museum and Power Station of Art temporarily closed as another wave of cases was sweeping the country.

by Yayoi Kusama self-portrait (2010). Courtesy of the Bund One Art Museum.

Museum officials hope the list of exhibits, some of which include works never before seen in China, will help spark interest in cultural tourism. “Chinese tourism needs to come back, and it undoubtedly will,” said a Uffizi spokesperson. TAN. “The Chinese love the Renaissance, and they love Florence.”

Diego Velazquez, Self-Portrait (1640. Collection of the Museu de Belles Arts de València.

Diego Velazquez, self-portrait (1640s). Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts of València.

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