National Geographic : 1967 Jul
Vecchio went, and we were all sure that it tendency of Monuments, who had tried to would, it would tear the gallery out with it." get across to the Pitti Palace, found the Ponte Alerted by the gallery's watchmen around Vecchio blocked off, and dashed ahead of the 7 a.m., Dr. Becherucci called Professor Ugo waters to the Uffizi. Procacci. The distinguished Superintendent Doctors Becherucci and Fossi made a dar of Fine Art for Florence and neighboring re- ing foray to Vasari's gallery, arriving a little gions in turn warned Dr. Umberto Baldini, after 9 a.m. While a swollen river cannonaded Director of Restorations. The fourth member the Ponte Vecchio with oil drums and trees of the cast appeared in the racing figure of and coiled wildly around the arches below Dr. Mazzino Fossi, an official of the Superin- them (pages 18-19), the scholars and a few Sodden treasury of learning, the National Library resurrects from a basement tomb of mud thousands of volumes dating from as far back as Renaissance times. Sawdust to sop up the water and ooze covers the floor of the main lobby. The Arno spilled books from miles of shelves. As the waters subsided, student volunteers donned gas masks because of the stench of sewage and disintegrating leather bindings and hauled the volumes to the first floor. Smeared with mud, a girl gently carries a book to a truck that will take it to a restoration center. More than a million and a half volumes in this library were damaged; the total for the city exceeded two million.