A series of Renaissance paintings is threatened after the Borghese Gallery's air conditioning system broke two months ago.
Priceless masterpieces by Renaissance masters including Raphael, Titian and Caravaggio could be seriously damaged by excessive heat and humidity following the collapse of the air conditioning system at the Borghese Gallery in Rome. The renowned gallery is one of Italy's most popular tourist attractions with more than 500,000 visitors a year, but appears to be the latest casualty from dramatic cuts in arts funding. Two years ago one of the motors had to be repaired but it wasn't fixed due to a lack of resources.
Anna Coliva, gallery director, said precious art works were now facing serious risk. "We have been dealing with this emergency for two months. The air conditioning system, built in 1997, is completely run down and damaged due to years of chronic lack of maintenance. We requested new air conditioning several years ago." Ms Coliva said.
Among the works under threat are The Deposition of Christ by Raphael, Titian's Sacred and Profane Love, and Madonna and Child with St. Anne by Caravaggio. Fine marble sculpture such as the gallery's signature statue of Paolina Borghese by Antonio Canova could also face damage.
They are trying to resolve the emergency with action to control the atmosphere while waiting to replace the system. The museum is leaving the windows open, but Elisabetta Giani, expert from the Superior Institute for Conservation and Restoration (ISCR), warned a move could cause further damage. "You have to limit that as much as possible because of what comes inside," she said. "I am talking about chemical and biological pollutants which are not controlled."
Ms Giani said temperatures higher than 30 degrees Celsius or humidity above 50-55 per cent could deform or damage the art works and both had to be monitored constantly.
In 2012 several rooms were closed inside the Uffizi Gallery in Florence due to excessively high temperatures, while the Vatican Museums are currently installing a new air conditioning system in the Sistine Chapel after years of debate about the damage caused by 20,000 visitors a day.
Adapted from The Telegraph 11 May 2014
Question 1: [2,5 POINTS] indicate whether the following statements are true or false and write down which part of the text justifies your answer.
a) The air conditioning at the Borghese Gallery had broken down before.
b) The system has been well maintained for the last years.
c) The Gallery asked for a new air con system years ago.
d) The action taken to control the atmosphere at the gallery is also dangerous.
e) The temperature and humidity at the gallery needn’t be controlled at all times.
Question 2: [2,5 POINTS] Find words or phrases in the text that correspond to the words and definitions given.
a) breakdown (paragraph 2)
b) to repair (paragraph 2)
c) to confront (paragraph 4)
d) more (paragraph 5)
e) to control (paragraph 6)
Question 3: [2 POINTS] Complete the following sentences without changing the meaning.
a) The Borghese Gallery is one of Italy's most popular tourist attractions. It is visited by more than 500,000 people a year.
The Borghese Gallery....
b) "I am talking about chemical and biological pollutants which are not controlled", she said.
She said that...
c) Several rooms were closed at the Uffizi Gallery in 2012 by experts.
d) The Uffizi Gallery closed because there were high temperatures in 2012.
If there had not…
Question 4: [3 POINTS] Write a short essay (about 120-150 words) on the following topic:Do you think it is important to preserve the culture of a country?