National Geographic : 1967 Jul
Hospital for art fills the Limonaia, a winter shelter for lemon trees at the Pitti Palace (below). To forestall paint blistering and chip ping as the wooden panels began to dry and contract, workmen rushed to convert the Limonaia, installing insulation and humidifiers. Art works arrive (below, right) covered with Japanese mulberry paper to prevent the paint from flaking. Technicians spray nystatin, an antibiotic, to arrest the growth of mold. circuited by water-blared a mournful mono tone. That steady din and the rushing of pow erful currents formed a dreadful sound. "Worse than the war! Worse than the war!" A dazed people, clambering into upper stories and onto rooftops, found no comparison for the tragedy that was overwhelming Firenze Bella. In the days to come they would learn a terrible litany of the saints, a litania dolo rum cataloguing the disaster of Florentine churches: Sant'Ambrogio, 11 feet of water; Anguish and fatigue mark the face of Dr. Becherucci as she surveys paintings along the second-floor gallery of the Uffizi. Original esti mates of time needed to restore some art works have dropped from 20 years to two or three; 32 other treasures may prove beyond repair.