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James A. Michener Art Museum announces the arrival of Italian masterpieces
Alessandro Tiarini (Bologna 1577-1668), Nativity of Jesus, mid 17th century, oil on copper, H.13 x W.16.8 inches, Collection of the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy.

DOYLESTOWN, PA.- Dignitaries from the Michener Art Museum, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, the Italian Consulate in Philadelphia and Visit Bucks County spoke at a press conference at the Consulate headquarters today, announcing the arrival of major works of Renaissance and Baroque art from the Uffizi to the Michener.

Bruce Katsiff, Director/CEO, Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pa., Antonio Natali, Director, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy (speaking from the Uffizi by video), Dott. Luigi Scotto, Italian Consul General, Philadelphia and Jerry Lepping, Executive Director, Visit Bucks County, lauded the Michener Art Museum for being chosen as the only venue in the Northeast to exhibit these masterpieces from the famed Uffizi Gallery. This is the first American tour of an exhibit drawn entirely from the Uffizi collection. Offering of the Angels: Treasures from the Uffizi will feature works from Botticelli, Titian, Tintoretto and others at the Michener Art Museum, from April 21 through August 10, 2012.

"This is the first time the Michener is hosting an international touring exhibit," said Katsiff. "There are 1.6 million visitors annually to the Uffizi. This is the biggest exhibition to come to Bucks County, and it's a great value! The $15 admission includes free parking and an audio tour."

Katsiff spoke of being delighted to have CBS3 as media partner and to partner with SEPTA to get people from Philadelphia to Doylestown.

"If you live in Philadelphia or along the Doylestown Line – the old R5 -- you can purchase tickets on SEPTA's Regional Rail Train to Doylestown Station, a short walk from the Museum," he said. The One Day Independence Passes and tickets to the Museum are sold at Center City sales offices.

Speaking from the world famous Uffizi Gallery by video, with a view of Florence's Arno River and the Palazzo Vecchio, Director Antonio Natali greeted visitors to the James A. Michener Art Museum in Pennsylvania in Italian, recounting the origins of the Uffizi as administrative offices for the Florentine magistrates. Cosimo I de' Medici, first duke, then Grand Duke, entrusted the building to the architect Giorgio Vasari.

"The Medici art collection was the contemporary art of the 1500s, and the Uffizi began as a museum of contemporary art," he said.

With an outstanding collection of works by Botticelli, Titian and Michelangelo, the Uffizi contains one of the most important collections in the world.

"What counts is the poetic quality of every painting," said Natali. "These paintings are rarely seen because they are in the secret rooms of the Uffizi."

"We are honoured to host this press conference here at the Italian Consulate of Italy in Philadelphia for Offering of the Angels that will take place at the enchanting James A. Michener Art Museum," said Dott. Scotto.

"We are excited about having this exhibition in Pennsylvania and expect many visitors, not only from the region, but from all over the country," continued Dott. Scotto. "The masterworks that will be at the Michener Art Museum represent important pieces of Italian culture and these paintings are part of the worldwide heritage."

Lepping said he was delighted to speak because the Michener's upcoming blockbuster exhibit gives him a chance to talk about something he's passionate about. "Cultural tourism is one of our region's strongest assets for growth," he said. "Arts and culture helps drive our economy, unite our communities and educate our children."

The arts support jobs, stimulate commerce, generate tax revenues, revitalize communities, prepare the citizens and workers of tomorrow, and add a wealth of intrinsic value," he said.

The Michener Art Museum's new Edgar N. Putman Pavilion helped to generate construction jobs, and will generate revenue for the museum—more than 20 weddings are booked well ahead of the building's opening! With the anticipated 100,000 visitors to Offering of the Angels, Bucks County restaurants, shops and hotels and B&Bs will share in a wealth of visitors.

"We are thrilled to have such well-attended arts and culture destinations in Bucks County," said Lepping.

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