Italy museum shuts amid heat wave
ROME — The Uffizi Galleries art museum in the Italian city of Florence shut its doors to the public Friday amid a heat wave because of problems with its air conditioning system.
The Renaissance art capital has a reputation for being one of Italy’s hottest cities every summer. But a heat wave gripping the nation for days, and coming on top of a weeks-long drought, was making it tougher to stay cool. Temperatures in Florence hit at least 101 F (nearly 39 C) on Friday. Rome temperatures this week were around 100 F (38 C).
Uffizi Galleries director Eike Schmidt said because the level of the Arno River, which flows through Florence, was so low the museum couldn’t draw as much water from it as it usually does for its industrial-scaled cooling system. Standing outside the galleries as tourists waited in line for ticket reimbursements, Schmidt told SkyTG24 TV the cooling system was still working well enough to keep its masterpieces climate-controlled and avoid damage.