An aide to Culture Minister Limor Livnat said Italy would loan a Botticelli masterpiece to Israel as scheduled, after delaying the loan over worries about Syria.
Italy’s culture ministry said this month it would not send the 15th-century “The Annunciation of San Martino alla Scala” to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem due to geopolitical and logistical considerations.
But Meir Bardugo, aide to Livnat, said Sunday that the minister worked “behind the scenes intensively” to convince Italy the work would be safe.
The head of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Antonio Natali, told the ANSA news agency on Saturday that the work had left Italy a few days ago bound for Jerusalem.
Israel Museum Director James Snyder said Sunday that the four-month exhibit will open Tuesday.
The loan was organized by the Uffizi, where the huge, restored painting is held, and the Italy-Israel Foundation for Culture and the Arts.
The Annunciation is a fresco that was painted by Botticelli in 1481 on a wall at the hospital of San Martino alla Scala in Florence.
It was removed from the wall in 1920 and transferred to the Uffizi, where it underwent restoration.
Early Renaissance master Botticelli, whose birth name was Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, was born in Florence in about 1445, and died in May, 1510.