Giorgio Bonsanti

Art Historian – Formerly Director of OPD University of Florence

He graduated in History of Art at the University of Florence in 1970 , with a thesis on Michael Pacher (supervisor Roberto Salvini ) . In 1967/8 he  has been awarded a scholarship from the Austrian Government at the Institute of History at the University of Vienna. From 1968 to 1974 he was assistant of director Charles de Tolnay at the Casa Buonarroti in Florence , working both in the arrangement of the museum  and editing the great publication of the Corpus of Drawings by Michelangelo. After his entry into the State Management as winner of a national competition , from 1974 to 1979 he was in Modena , as Superintendent and Director of Galleria Estense ( reopened in a new system in June 1975). From 1979 to 1988 he was the Superintendent for the Artistic and Historical Heritage in Florence, as Director of the Medici Chapels (up to 1982 ) , the Museum of San Marco (editing a new system with substantial expansions and new rooms , opened in 1983) , the Galleria dell’Accademia (new system with substantial expansions and new rooms : opened in 1983-1985 ) and Restorations Office . Among others he directed the restoration if Michelangelo’s Tondo Doni in the Uffizi and the frescoes of Beato Angelico in the Convent of San Marco.

In 1985 he became manager at the Ministry for Cultural Heritage as a winner of a national competition . Since March 1988, he has been appointed Superintendent of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure and Restoration Laboratories of Florence, reaching the rank of Director in Chief  at the Ministry of Cultural Heritage . He was Superintendent of the Opificio til March 2000 , making the Institute an important international reality. He was the promoter of the approval of the Law of Establishment of the School of Restoration at the Opificio (January 1992) , the Implementing Regulation ( July 1997) , and the acknowledgement  of the Opificio as Institute of Higher Education and study equalized at the Central Institute for Restoration and the Institute of Pathology of the Book ( Law of Establishment of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, 1998 , Article 9) .

He is one of the drafters and signatories of the European Document of Pavia on new professional restorer ( November 1997) , and of ICOMOS Document on conservation of wall paintings edited in final form in Thessaloniki ( 2003).

In that period he had the responsibility for the restoration , among many others, of the frescoes of Piero della Francesca in Arezzo , those of the dome of Florence Cathedral by Vasari and Zuccari , Parmigianino in Fontanellato (Parma) , by Pietro da Cortona in Palazzo Pitti , statues of Orsanmichele and the Opera del Duomo ( Donatello, Ghiberti, Verrocchio, Nanni di Banco , etc. . )  Cavalcanti Annunciation by Donatello and Gravestones of Leonardo Bruni ( Bernardo Rossellini ) and Carlo Marsuppini ( Desiderio da Settignano ) Santa Croce in Florence , Ghiberti ‘s Gates of Paradise , the Cross of Santa Maria Novella and the Madonna of San Giorgio alla Costa of Giotto , other paintings by Raphael ( Madonna of the Canopy ) , Caravaggio ( Beheading of John the Baptist in Malta ) Rubens (Stories of Henry IV at the Uffizi ) , Botticelli (Coronation of the Virgin at the Uffizi ), and many others.

He personally supervised the following exhibitions : Restauri fra Modena e  Reggio, Modena 1978, Per una Politica del Restauro a Firenze,, Florence 1982, Donatello e i Suoi  ( with Alan Darr Detroit , Florence , 1986) , Raffaello e Altri  ( Florence , 1990) ; Art Renaissance and Restoration ( Kyoto -Tokyo – Nagoya 1991) , Emozioni in terracotta – Guido Mazzoni e Antonio Begarelli nell’Emilia del Rinascimento  ( with Francesca Piccinini , Modena 2009) , in addition participating in various ways in many others exhibitions.

He organized ( together with the CNR Center directed by Renzo Salimbeni ) the III International Congress on Lasers in restoration (Florence 1999).

Since March 2000 he has become Full Professor of  History & Techniques of Restoration at the University of Turin, Faculty of Educational Sciences ( first chair in Italy for this discipline ) . Since November 2002 he has been Professor of History and Technique of Restoration at the University of Florence, Faculty of Arts ( also took courses in institutions of Art History , History of Modern Art , Museology ) . Since March 2003 , he has been confirmed Professor . Retired since January 2010. He kept teaching History and Technique of Restoration at the University of Macerata , located in Fermo, Postgraduate School (2010/2011 , 2011/2012) and the three-year (2011/ 2012). He still performs as a consultant for several projects restoration and museology in Italy and abroad. He is one of the two scientific curators of the project Restituzioni of Intesa Sanpaolo.

From 1988 to 2000 he was director of the Magazine Restoration OPD and had responsibility for several  publications about restoration of the Opificio . Now he is the guarantor of the scientific journal of restoration Kermes . He is member of the Scientific Board of the journal Arkos – Science and Restoration . He is advisor to the annual Restoration Exhibition in Ferrara and a member of the Scientific Committee and the Executive Committee of the Biennial Restoration  Exhibition in Florence. He is one of the founding members of IGIIC ( Italian Group of the International Institute for Conservation) , and a member of its Board of Directors. He is part of the Scientific Council of the Permanent International Conference entitled ” Lacona ” ( Lasers Conservation in Art) , and the Board of Directors of APLAR ( Laser Applications in Restoration ) . He is member of the College of Consultors of journal Arte Lombarda . He has been a member of the Editorial Board of the Bulletin of Art, and of the Consultative Committee of the magazine of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, The Sculpture Journal.

He is the author of several scientific studies (articles and books) on Giotto , Beato Angelico, Michael Pacher , Donatello , Michelangelo and other artists between the Fourteenth and Sixteenth century. His monograph on the Fifteenth century sculptor Antonio Begarelli (Modena , 1992) won the first edition of the international award ” Giulio Romano – Palazzo Te ” in Mantua.

He was fellow at the Harvard University Center of Villa I Tatti ( 1982-3 ) .

From 1980 to 1985 he taught at the Law School of Art Restoration Opificio delle Pietre Dure . He was a Professor at the University of Siena, based Arezzo ( course in Conservation of Cultural Heritage, academic years 1995/6 , 1996/7 , 1997/8 , 60 hours per year ) and Genoa ( Postgraduate School of Architectural Restoration, 1995/6 , 1996/7 1997/ 8 1998/9, 20 hours per year ) . He has given lectures at the Italian Archaeological School of Athens ( 1998) , at the Institute of Philosophical Studies, Naples (1999) , and at the University of Seville (Master , AA 2003/2004 , 2005/ 2006).

He has given lectures and speeches , in English , French and German , in Congress and Convention at the National Gallery , the Victoria & Albert Museum , the British Museum and the Courtauld Institute in London , the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the University Harvard and Yale , the Detroit Museum of Art, the JPGetty Museum in Los Angeles, the Louvre, the Liebighaus in Frankfurt, the Neues Museum in Berlin , as well as in Cairo , Krakow , Torun , Kiev , Sibiu , Seville, Valencia , Havana , Bern, Amsterdam, Vienna, Salzburg, Graz , Los Angeles, Santa Barbara ( Cal. ) , Athens ( Georgia , USA) , Island of Crete ( Heraklion ) , Liverpool , Baden Baden , Aachen, Cologne , Bonn, Hildesheim, Dresden, Constance, Lisbon , Sendai (Japan) , Seoul , Gyeongju (Korea ), Beijing , Xi’an, Kizil ( China).

He was a member of the European Grouping of evaluation of  the projects Raphael at the European Community in Brussels during the years 1997 , 1998 and 1999 . Since 2003 he has been part of the evaluation group of projects for the Italian section of the World Monument Fund ( ARPAI ) . He was appointed external evaluator Commissioner ( Advisor) of the European project of scientific research in the restoration ” Charisma ” ( 2010-2012 )

From 1992 to 2000 he was a member of the Scientific Council of the University of London Courtauld Institute for Conservation Wall Paintings . He was a member of the Scientific Committee for the restoration of the grand Romanesque chandelier said ” Hezilo – Leuchter ” in the cathedral of Hildesheim (Germany) , the Scientific Committee for the Conservation of the Cathedral of Hildesheim (2008) , and the Deposition of Bronzino at the Museum of Besancon. He is member of ICOMOS . He is part of the Scientific Council of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, for ministerial appointment .

Since 1994 he has held the monthly column “Open for Restoration ” in The Art Newspaper .

From 1997 to 1999 he was President of the Cultural Center ” Il Bisonte” for the study of graphic arts. He is Academic Professor in Art History at the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno in Florence.

He has worked  in newspapers and magazines , including L’Unità , Paese Sera , Il Corriere di Firenze , Corriere Fiorentino ( Florence edition of Corriere della Sera ) , La Repubblica ( Florence edition ) .

He was a City Councillor and Vice President of the Culture in Florence between 1985 and 1990 , and again from 1999 to 2004  , for a total of ten years. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Municipal Theatre and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino between 1990 and 1998, and a member of the Commission for Historical Exercises of the City of Florence ( 1994-96 ) .

From 1998 to November 2006 he was a member of the Scientific Commission for the Protection of Artistic Heritage of the Presidency of the Republic .

From October 2004 to March 2006 he was Chairman of Firenze Mostre SpA

Since May 2003, he is Scientific Coordinator of the CERR (European Centre for Research in Conservation and Restoration ), Institute of the City of Siena.

From 31 July 2004 to May 2011 he was Chairman of the Festival dei Popoli (Festival of Documentary Cinema ) in Florence . He is still memeber of the Directing Committee .

From March 2005 he is a member of the Commission for the Conservation of the Louvre Museum .

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