I was an art student studying painting when the shocking news of the flood suddenly became known - and its terrible effects on the people, the people, the city of Florence as a whole and its works of art; I had read about these works from chikdhood, but never seen then. However thei perilous state touched me personally and very deeply; I saved up what money I could find and travelled to Florence immediatly after Christmas, staying for a fortnight.
First I went to the duomo, working in the Museo dell'Opera. hearing that help was needed with the panel paintings, eventually I found my way into the Limonaia of the Boboli Gardens, converted for the controlled drying of shelf upon shelf of damnaged pictures. Under Professor Baldini's direction and supervised by Puccio Speroni, I learned to treat the packs of the pictures against virulent, many-coloured moulds. I progressed from carefully removing caked-on mud to the fungicidal treatment of the paint suface of all the pictures in rotation - a task which left no time even for a visit to the Uffizi! A fellow worker was a Florentine student of art history, called Bruno Santi: it would be a great pleasure to meet him again and, indeed, I would like to see all my Florentine acqaintance of 1966.
I am married to a Canadian and have two young children. For 25 years I have worked with architects' practice, Architecton, at 12 St Thomas Street, Bristol, England BS1 6JJ (01179 277510). We are committed to modern architecture and to the specialist repair of ancient buildings, for which this practice is well known in Britain. My concern is with historic buildings, about whose repair and architectural history I also teach and write. A particular interest of mine is the conservation of wallpaintings and, whenever I get the chance, I alo design gardens.
John Schofield Court Hayes East Street Crewkerne TA18 7AG tel: 01460 72991
2 luglio 1996