Italy mu­seum shuts amid heat wave

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

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.

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