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Alinari archive saved by regional government of Tuscany

The Art Newspaper has reported that the Alinari photographic archive which was under threat of dispersal has been acquired by the regional government of Tuscany.  It will create a new foundation in Florence to preserve its more than five million items.

The world’s oldest photographic firm, Alinari put its historic Florentine headquarters up for sale last May after years of financial difficulty. The collection—ranging from daguerreotypes to 200,000 digital images, as well as photographic equipment and thousands of books—was moved to a private storage facility while politicians brokered a deal to save it for the Italian nation. The Tuscan Soprintendenza for archives, part of the Italian culture ministry, had placed the holdings under export ban in December 2018 for its “primary importance” to the history of photography.

Besides “guaranteeing the care and correct conservation” of the archive, the region plans to renovate Villa Fabbricotti, an 1860s estate in the hills north of Florence currently used as government offices, as its permanent home and exhibition space. A new foundation dedicated to managing the archive will be created by May, with a committee of photo­graphy experts—including former Alinari employees—and the possible involvement of the culture ministry.

The project is estimated to cost around €15m, with at least €2.4m due to Fratelli Alinari. The figure is, however, a fraction of the €138m valuation placed on the collection by the Italian photographer and historian Italo Zannier in 2008. 

See the report here:

and the Alinari website:

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