Photos from inside Florence’s Uffizi Gallery after it was damaged by a car bomb in May 1993. 

Later revealed as a Mafia-driven attack aimed at the gallery, the bomb was detonated in the Via dei Georgofili, killing five people and injuring dozens more. (The act was part of a campaign of terror orchestrated by the Corleonesi family in response to the article 41-bis law, by which mafiosi were imprisoned in particularly harsh conditions, greatly restricting their contact with others in an attempt to stop them from continuing to orchestrate crime while incarcerated.)

Over 20 paintings and statues were damaged or destroyed in the attack. Among those lost were three 17th-century paintings: “Birth of Christ” by Utrecht’s Gerrit van Honthorst (known in Italy as Gherardo delle Notti) and Bartolomeo Manfredi’s “Buonaventura” and “Ciclo Viti.”

“Some lost arms, some lost legs,” said Uffizi director Anna Maria Petrioli Tofani, referring to a group of Roman statues known as “Niobe and her Children.” 

"The worst damage is structural,” she continued. “The damage to paintings could have been worse. Many paintings were saved by the protective glass that tourists find so obnoxious.” (Among the artworks protected by said glass were Michelangelo’s 1456 oil painting of the Holy Family and Botticelli’s "Birth of Venus” and “Spring”.)

Christopher Schreck