Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, Italy’s Foreign Minister and the former Italian Ambassador to Washington, will inaugurate the “2013 – The Year of Italian Culture” at a ceremony unveiling Michelangelo’s David- Apollo at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, on December 12, 2013.   The yearlong celebration will showcase the best of Italian arts and culture across America in some 40 cities, beginning in Washington.

Michelangelo, David-Apollo

Michelangelo, David-Apollo

This will be the only presentation in the United States of the David-Apollo by Michelangelo, on loan from the Museo Nazionale del Bargello in Florence.  In 1949, the David-Apollo was lent by the Italian government as a token of gratitude for postwar aid, and to reaffirm the friendship and cultural ties between Italy and the United States.  It was installed in time for President Harry Truman’s inaugural reception, held at the Gallery on January 20.  During the next six months the installation was seen by more than 791,000 visitors.  In 2013, a new generation of visitors to the National Mall for another inauguration―President  Barack Obama’s second―will also have the chance to see this masterpiece.

The presentation of Michelangelo’s David-Apollo has been organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of Italy in Washington, the Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze, and the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence., and the support of the Corporate Ambassadors Intesa Sanpaolo and Eni.

The statue will be on public view in the West Building from December 13, 2012, through March 3, 2013.