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Florence Flood: 40th-Anniversary Reunion of the “Mud Angels”

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Mud Angels Rescuing Florence’s Art after the 1966 Flood
Saturday marks the 40th anniversity of the Florence Flood that devastated that Italian city and its cultural patrimony. To commemorate the immense international relief and restoration efforts that followed, Florence will host an international symposium, Nov. 10 and 11, on “Conservation Legacies of l’Alluvione.” According to the official announcement, it will “bring together many of the surviving participants in the rescue effort—both the leaders and the so-called ‘mud angels’ who were in the field.”
They and many of today’s leading art restoration experts will participate in a fully subscribed series of public discussions on “the flood and its legacy for art conservation and international emergency response.” Among those attending: Sen. Edward Kennedy, who had surveyed the 1966 damage, and “the mayors of New Orleans, Dresden and Prague—cities which experienced significant flooding.”
So New Orleans now enjoys the dubious distinction of being linked with some of Europe’s most celebrated cultural meccas. Would that the intensity of recovery efforts had been comparable.

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