Prestigious Rome library has been closed since Italy's first covid-19 lockdown more than a year ago.
Rome's celebrated library of books devoted to art history and archaeology at Palazzo Venezia will reopen its doors on 13 April after an online petition garnered more than 6,500 signatures.
The Biblioteca di Archeologia e Storia dell’Arte (BIASA), Italy's only specialised library dedicated to art history and archaeology on a national level, is the largest of its kind in the world and contains many volumes in English.
The petition, addressed to Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini, was organised by CUNSTA (National University Council for the History of Art) which called for the reopening of the library "with the utmost urgency," reports Artribune.
The petition stated that "students of art history, archaeology and cultural heritage have in this library the primary tool of their training," noting that the institution had been closed since Italy's first coronavirus lockdown in March 2020.
Franceschini looked favourably on the appeal, with the library publishing a notice of its reopening on its website alongside a list of covid-19 protocols and visiting times.
Several years ago it was announced that the library would eventually move from Palazzo Venezia to a new base at Palazzo S. Felice on Via della Dataria, near the Trevi Fountain.
A time-frame has yet to be given for the move which has been allocated €10 million under the culture ministry's Grandi Progetti scheme.
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Rome's art history and archaeology library reopens after petition
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