Enfilade

Imperial Apartments at the Correr Museum Restored

Posted in museums, on site by Editor on December 28, 2012

This article by Gildas le Roux from the AFP appeared on Sunday, 16 December 2012 at ArtDaily:

800px-Photograph_of_St_Mark's_Sq_from_the_Basilica

Piazza San Marco with View of Museo Correr
(Photo March 2007 by Andrew Balet, Wikimedia Commons)

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After a century of neglect, a magnificent palace built by Napoleon in Venice has re-opened its doors to the public on the island city’s famous St Mark’s Square thanks to a French restoration effort. The reasons for the long abandonment are easily explained — Venice is not Napoleon’s biggest fan. Nor do canal residents have fond memories of the Royal Palace’s most famous resident — 19th-century Austrian empress Elisabeth or ‘Sisi’ — a symbol of the city’s imperial domination. “In popular consciousness, Napoleon is primarily the man who ended the glorious republic of Venice (697-1797),” said Andrea Bellieni, director of the Correr Museum which oversees the Royal Palace.

A group called French Committee for Safeguarding Venice [Comité Français de Sauvegarde de Venise in partnership with the Napoleon Foundation] has financed the restoration of this sumptuous palace, which was in a pitiful state. With a budget of 2.5 million euros ($3.2 million) from private donors, the committee has restored the main halls and the empress’s apartment to its old-time splendour when a 19-year-old ‘Sisi’ and her husband, Emperor Franz Joseph I, stayed there. The furniture decorating the restored chambers is in the same neo-Baroque style popular at the imperial court in Vienna at the time. The empress’s boudoir is a highlight with its images of feminine allegories and flowery garlands.

Napoleon proclaimed himself King of Italy in 1805 and ordered the palace built in 1807 in front of the iconic St Mark’s Basilica after visiting Venice, but never actually lived in it. Built in six years and decorated by French-inspired painter Giuseppe Borsato, the structure is now the only neo-Classical royal palace in Italy. . .

The full article is available here»