Uffizi Galleries director Eike Schmidt is set to bid farewell to Florence as he transitions to a new role at the helm of the Capodimonte Museum in Naples.
“This is not a farewell, but just a goodbye,” Schmidt said during a press briefing in Florence on Saturday. “Initially, and perhaps in the long term, because I have my home in Florence. Florence has grown in my heart over these years. I lived here in the 1990s, I met my wife (here), it is a special city.”
Expressing his deep connection to Florence, the German-born museum director remarked that he was “very moved” upon learning of his appointment as the director of the Capodimonte Museum, one of Italy’s significant cultural institutions.
“I was in the place of the patron saint of Naples, Saint Gennaro, I was moved to receive this lovely news,” Schmidt shared with reporters. He noted the achievement is also a testament to the success of his tenure at the Uffizi. “Without what I managed to do here together with my team, it would not have been possible.”
Schmidt, who took over the direction of the renowned Uffizi Galleries in 2015, is widely credited for enhancing the visitor experience, increasing accessibility, and expanding the art collection. His move to the Capodimonte National Museum in Naples was announced by Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano on Friday evening.
Capodimonte National Museum in Naples holds grand art collection
The Capodimonte Museum, located in the southern Italian city, stands as one of the country’s premier art institutions, boasting a comprehensive collection representing all schools of Italian painting. The museum’s holdings include masterpieces by Caravaggio, Michelangelo, and Sandro Botticelli, as well as the second-largest collection of drawings in Italy after the Uffizi in Florence.
Having recently acquired Italian citizenship, Schmidt, born in Freiburg, is set to conclude his role at the Uffizi Gallery at the end of the year. The German Cecilie Hollberg, the outgoing director of the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence, is also expected to be involved in the management of the Naples museum, according to Sangiuliano.