Help restore the Uffizi

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THE Independent has joined an appeal launched by the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica to raise funds to help to restore the Uffizi museum in Florence, which was badly damaged by a car bomb last Thursday.

Many of its masterpieces were defaced, and the fabric of the Renaissance building was severely damaged. The cost of repairs has been put at tens, if not hundreds, of millions of pounds.

La Repubblica has been joined by France's Le Monde and Spain's El Pais. All three

newspapers are partners of the Independent.

The Italian Minister of Culture, Alberto Ronchey, yesterday promised that much of the gallery would reopen to the public on 18 June, but some parts will remain closed while the structure is made safe.

The Independent believes that Florence, and the Uffizi's art treasures, are a priceless heritage which belong not only to Italy, or to Europe, but to the world. We, therefore, invite readers who wish to contribute to send cheques to The Uffizi Appeal, c/o The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

Cheques should be made payable to The Uffizi Appeal. The money will be passed directly to La Repubblica. Credit card and charity aid voucher contributions cannot be accepted. All funds raised will be administered and allocated by Mr Ronchey, in person.