*** DEBUG END ***

Florence honours its mud angels

04 November 2016


Sorting: "mud angels" work to save rare books from flood damage

Sorting: "mud angels" work to save rare books from flood damage

FLORENCE is preparing to commemorate 50 years since its worst flood ever engulfed the city in 1966, killing 101 people and damaging millions of works of art.

Today is the anniversary of the disaster, which occurred when the river Arno burst its banks after heavy rainfall. At its height, the floodwaters reached almost seven metres.

Immediately after the waters receded, leaving thousands homeless and much of Florence’s priceless artistic and historical heritage damaged or destroyed, thousands of volunteers from around the world descended on the city to help clean, restore, and rebuild.

These “mud angels” are being invited back to Florence as part of the commemorations, and discounted hotel reservations and restaurant prices are on offer to anyone who came to the city’s aid.

A mass led by Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, himself a mud angel, was due to be held this morning to celebrate the efforts of the mud angels, and later today, a torchlight procession throughout Florence will begin with a rally at the church of San Miniato al Monte to thank the angels.

Major restoration works on Florentine art have also been timed to conclude this month to mark the anniversary, with non-profit groups from the United States collaborating to restore paintings and drawings from the Horne Museum in Florence.

Georgio Vasari’s painting The Last Supper, which was almost entirely ruined in the 1966 flood, will be formally unveiled today by the President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, after a restoration that began in 2004.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events


Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available


Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE


Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available


Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)