Dark Water

Dark Water

Flood and Redemption in the City of Masterpieces

Book - 2008
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On November 4, 1966, the city of Florence was inundated by the waters of the Arno River. Beyond the human and economic cost, the flood destroyed or damaged hundreds of works from the Western world's greatest collections of art and sent shock waves around the world. Thousands came and millions were raised to help with the rescue and restoration efforts. DARK WATER brings the flood and its aftermath to life through the voices of witnesses past and present. Two young American artists carrying their baby wade through the flooded city witnessing the Ponte Vecchio buried in debris, the swamped Uffizi Gallery, and, in libraries, one billion pages of books soaked in mire and oil. A Life magazine photographer arrives by helicopter to capture the drama amid the flooded tombs of Machiavelli and Michelangelo. A British student spends a month scraping mud and mold from masterworks as infighting among international art experts and connoisseurs erupts around him. Combining a thousand-year historical scope with intimate detail, DARK WATER is a chronicle of natural disaster and human genius and their lasting effects on one of the world's most beloved cities.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780767926485
Branch Call Number: 945.5 C594d 2008
Characteristics: 354 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


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May 25, 2017

This book is perfect for someone who knows nothing about Florence, its art history, or the 1966 flood. The author did a fine job researching and communicating the city's magnificent art legacy and the horrendous, heartbreaking flood and mud that damaged its art and book treasures. The book also relates the human story as well --- how it affected the Florentines and crippled the city. I skimmed the first 100 pages that covered Florence's art history, as I am already familiar with it and was really more interested in the flood itself.

As a child, I saw photos of the flood's devastation in Life magazine. As a visitor to Florence several times as an adult, I was always awestruck seeing plaques on the city's buildings in the historic center showing how high the flood waters reached. I selected this book to learn more about the causes, details of the actual flood and the aftermath. This book has lots of details so my curiosity about the flood was satisfied. People from around the world aided Florence in rescuing and restoring its beloved masterpieces. I was awestruck by the money raised for these efforts. Before reading this book, I had no idea how long it took to get the work done. It's truly a story of the triumph of humanity. This is a must read for all those who love Italy & Florence, as well as art lovers and anyone planning to visit Florence.

Jan 04, 2014

354 pp.


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