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Italy delays loan of Botticelli's "The Annunciation of San Martino alla Scala" to Israeli museum
View of the renewed Israel Museum, looking up Carter Promenade from the new entry pavilions, with Anish Kapoor’s Turning the World Upside Down, Jerusalem (2010) visible in the distance. (c) Tim Hursley. Image courtesy of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
ROME (AFP).- Italy will delay the planned loan of a famous painting by Renaissance master Botticelli to Israel because the timing is "not appropriate", the culture ministry in Rome said on Friday.

"The Annunciation of San Martino alla Scala" was to be sent to the Israel Museum for an exhibition opening on September 17 to be opened by Italian Culture Minister Massimo Bray and his Israeli counterpart Limor Livnat.

"The culture ministry, in agreement with the government, decided that the timing was not appropriate," the ministry said in a statement, without elaborating.

It said that another painting "of equivalent cultural and artistic content" would be sent instead.

Painted in 1481, the work was intended for the hospital of San Martino alla Scala in Florence.

After suffering heavy damage, it was transferred to a Florentine workshop in 1920 for restoration.

© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse

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