About fifty students from the Academy in Vienna came and worked

The accounts of Prof. Helmut Kortan and Dr. Susanne Kortan
from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria

"When I arrived in Florence, a few days after the flood, the situation was really catastrophic. I had been sent as head of the Austrian department for the restoration of works of art.

My institute worked for six weeks at first, and our students, who also worked with Prof. Baldini, were all paid by the Austrian Cultural Institute. We actually worked in three places in the city. When we first arrived, we went to help at the National Library, then we moved on to the Bargello and later to the Fortezza da Basso, where my students were to continue to work for the next ten years.

Obviously fewer students have been able to work on the art works damaged in the flood in recent years however, roughly forty to fifty, all in all, have worked here. I am now retired but I came back three times to Florence to supervise the work carried out by my students".

"Yes, as my husband says, the situation was really catastrophic when we arrived in Florence a few days after the flood. I was an assistent at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and, with my twenty students, worked on the flood damaged art works at Santa Croce and at the Fortezza da Basso.

We worked mainly on paintings by Vasari and books by Paolo Mascani. The damp had caused air bubbles to form on the paintings and it was very delicate work".



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