The Borghese Gallery in Rome has resorted to the unthinkable in the art world by opening its windows to let in air as a way to prevent humidity from touching the works during the city's unusually balmy spring. The museum is home to precious art by Caravaggio, Titian, Rubens, and Raphael, among others.
While art collections in most cities are held in climate-controlled rooms to prevent humidity and pollution from damaging the works, the Borghese Gallery has had to keep their windows open during a funding slowdown. The air conditioning in the gallery has stopped working entirely.
Anna Coliva, the museum's director, told La Repubblica:
"We have been in the grip of this emergency for two months." She said the air conditioning was worn out after years of scant maintenance, with requests over the past few years for a new system falling on deaf ears.
The Italian economy has struggled over the past fourteen years, causing huge cutbacks in their large historical arts community, which is a huge source of tourism. The government even resorted to putting art restoration to a vote at the end of last year, by asking citizens on a Facebook page which irreplaceable piece of art should be the benefactor of donated restoration funds.