Museum Security Network

Venice, Italy: Titian painting damaged by water in Venice fire

Titian painting damaged by water in Venice fire

Last Updated: Monday, August 30, 2010 | 11:02 AM ET

CBC News

Water sprayed on the roof of Venice’s Basilica Santa Maria della Salute seeped through the ceiling and damaged David and Goliath, a painting by Renaissance master Titian. (Luigi Costantini/Associated Press)A Renaissance painting by Italian master Titian and other rare canvases have suffered water damage after a fire at the building next to the Venice basilica where the artworks reside.

The paintings, displayed at the 17th century Basilica Santa Maria della Salute, sustained damage after a fire broke out Sunday night at the adjoining seminary.

As they battled the blaze, firefighters doused the basilica’s roof as well, causing water to seep through and soak David and Goliath — one of three Titian masterpieces lining the ceiling of the sacristy.

Vittorio Sgarbi, Venice’s chief of museums, reported that though water was dripping from the canvas, the damage didn’t appear to be serious.

Still, Sgarbi ordered David and Goliath removed for restoration. The other ceiling works in the sacristy appeared undamaged.

According to Italian reports, several Titian paintings in the vestry also suffered water damage after the fire next door set off the basilica’s sprinklers.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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