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Ex-Uffizi chief Eike Schmidt loses bid to become Mayor of Florence

Eike Schmidt, the former director of the Uffizi galleries in Florence, has failed in his bid to become mayor of Florence. Sara Funaro, a local councillor with the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), took more than 60% of the vote according to the BBC; Schmidt secured 39%.

In an Instagram post showing fireworks going off in the night sky, Funaro wrote: “This is how the day ends. Florence you are beautiful!” Funaro’s grandfather is Piero Bargellini, who was Florence’s mayor when the city was devastated by severe floods in November 1966. The event killed 101 people and caused damage to 120 frescoes, 300 panel paintings and 500 sculptures.

Schmidt competed in the municipal election on 24 June as part of a right-wing alliance comprising prime minister Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party, Forza Italia and the far-right League led by Matteo Salvini. He campaigned with the slogan “Magnificent Florence”, promising to bring “security and decorum” to the city’s streets. Earlier this month he was accused of mocking southern Italians with a xenophobic slur printed on election pamphlets.

Last December, the Italian government announced a raft of new appointments at ten state-run museums under a wide-ranging reshuffle which saw Schmidt named the new director of the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte in Naples. Schmidt—who was born in Germany in 1968 and became an Italian citizen last year—asked the Italian government for leave from his post to campaign in the election. Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte was contacted for comment regarding Schmidt’s post.

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