Catalogue description Italian Art and Archives Rescue Fund: Papers

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Details of PRO 30/83
Reference: PRO 30/83
Title: Italian Art and Archives Rescue Fund: Papers

Files in this series relate mainly to fund-raising and the provision of materials and personnel for repair work, but there are also reports and accounts and the domestic files of the Italian Art and Archives Rescue Fund .

Date: 1966-1972
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Not Public Record(s)
Language: English

Italian Art and Archives Rescue Fund, 1966-1972

Physical description: 136 file(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure
Administrative / biographical background:

The Italian Art and Archives Rescue Fund (IAARF) was established by deed of declaration of trust dated 15 December 1966, following the formation of a committee under the chairmanship of Sir Ashley Clarke, former Ambassador to Rome and chairman of the British Italian Society. Although the headquarters of the Fund were later established at the National Gallery, the first meeting was held on 16 November 1966 at the Royal Academy of Arts. It brought together a number of British experts on the preservation of works of art and archives, anxious to give practical assistance to the Italians in repairing the immense damage caused by the heavy floods of early November.

The first concern of the Fund was to raise money to finance the necessary work, which it did by a wide variety of appeals, events and sales, but it also co-ordinated the provision of skilled personnel and conservation materials. Active fund-raising ended in July 1967, by which time £175,000 had been collected: £110,000 of this went to Florence where it was directed especially to the National Library and to the laboratory improvised at the Palazzo Davanzi for the treatment of sculpture and minor arts. The remainder of the fund was allocated to Venice where it was employed primarily on the provision of a new laboratory for the restoration of large paintings, and the repair of Tintoretto's church of the Madonna dell' Orto.

The last of the money was used in 1971 and the IAARF officially wound up on 26 January 1972, its interest in Venice being taken over by the new organisation 'Venice in Peril'.

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