Segments in this Video

Introduction: Inside the Uffizi Gallery, Florence (00:50)


The narrator lists some highlights at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

Pazzi Conspiracy (02:17)

Fifteenth century Florence was rife with murder and intrigue, as depicted in "Assassin's Creed." The Pazzi conspiracy sought to overthrow the Medici family.

Assassination Attempt on Lorenzo (01:30)

The Pazzis ambushed Lorenzo de Medici in a cathedral; he escaped their assassination attempt. Elsewhere in the cathedral, Pazzis stabbed his brother Juliano to death.

Evidence on Pazzi Conspiracy (01:50)

An encrypted letter to Pope Sixtus IV may point to involvement in the Pazzi conspiracy. Evidence suggests soldiers were outside the city, but nobody intervened as the mob captured and hanged the Pazzis.

Implicating the Pope (01:28)

A historian decrypted the Duke of Urbino's letter to Pope Sixtus IV assuring him that the attack on the Medicis would be backed by soldiers.

"The Wrestlers" (01:02)

The Greeks invented wrestling, but the Greeks depicted in the statue "The Wrestlers" aren't wrestling, but practicing a martial art.

Pankration (03:01)

An instructor is reviving the ancient Greek martial art Pankration, which involves boxing and karate kicks, with wrestling on the ground. Ancient Greek opponents gouged eyes and broke bones.

Positioning in "The Wrestler" (01:47)

A pankration instructor believes "The Wrestlers" depicts pankration, not wrestling, because the man on top is making a fist. The man below moves his head away, which he would not do in wrestling.

Caravaggio (01:49)

Caravaggio violated sexual and social norms. Historians believe the led in Caravaggio's paint caused his eventual mental instability.

Caravaggio's Disappearance (02:47)

Caravaggio fled Rome after killing a man. He was apprehended, and nobody knows what happened. A researcher believes he escaped to Porto Ercole and searches its crypt for his bones.

Skeleton Analysis (03:01)

Researchers searching a crypt for Caravaggio's bones found a skeleton with led poisoning. Its DNA shares a characteristic "Merici chromosome" with today's Mericis, Caravaggio's relatives.

Wild Boar Statues (01:20)

Statues of wild boars became popular in European cities in the seventeenth century.

Truffle (03:41)

Boars have adapted to sniff the truffle, an underground fungus in Tuscan for food. The truffle is an expensive delicacy, making boars a good luck charm. Truffle hunters employ Lagotto Romagnolo dogs.

Francesco I (01:43)

Grand Duke Francesco I built at the Uffizi the Tribuna, a chamber decorated with alchemical symbols. Nearby he dedicated a sanctuary to his wife Bianca.

Mysterious Deaths (01:44)

Rumors abounded about the deaths of Francesco and Bianca. Researchers have exhumed Francesco's remains. Ferdinando barred Bianca's corpse from the Medici crypt due to rumors of witchcraft.

Ferdinando (02:06)

Ferdinando was concerned about state and family interests as his brother Francesco neglected his office to focus on alchemy. Did Ferdinando murder Francesco? He controlled the autopsy.

Francesco and Bianca's Death (02:32)

A suppressed second autopsy of Francesco and Bianca found poisoning and reported that their internal organs were buried in a church. A researcher found fragments of livers matching Francesco's DNA, with arsenic.

Vasari Corridor (02:16)

The Vasari Corridor originally allowed the Medici patriarch to travel safely between his palace and the Uffizi. The fleeing Nazis spared the Ponte Vecchio bridge, saving the Corridor.

Hitler and Vasari Corridor (01:13)

Hitler visited the Vasari Corridor in 1938. Some say he ordered the retreating Nazis to spare the Ponte Vecchio bridge to save its art in 1944.

Gerhard Wolf (03:12)

Gerhard Wolf, German consul for Florence, helped hide Uffizi art and saved Jews. Some think he saved the Ponte Vecchio bridge. Others say the Germans knew the bridge could not accommodate military traffic.

Credits: Inside the Uffizi Gallery, Florence: Museum Secrets (Series 3) (01:01)

Credits: Inside the Uffizi Gallery, Florence: Museum Secrets (Series 3)

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Inside the Uffizi Gallery, Florence: Museum Secrets (Series 3)

Part of the Series : Museum Secrets (Series 3)
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Visited by one and half million people every year, the Uffizi is one of the oldest art museums in the Western world, boasting paintings and sculpture by the greatest masters of the Renaissance. Inside the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, we re-examine the famous conspiracy against Lorenzo de Medici—godfather of the Renaissance—to discover who was really pulling the strings. We rediscover a long lost martial art, then descend into a crypt to hunt for the bones of a notorious artist. We find out why a wild boar’s nose is a good luck charm, then visit an alchemist’s sanctuary to investigate his cause of death. And finally, we reveal what happened in Florence during the final days of World War II, when the fate of the museum hung in the balance. A BBC Production. A part of the series Museum Secrets (Series 3).

Length: 43 minutes

Item#: BVL57624

ISBN: 978-0-81609-519-3

Copyright date: ©2013

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