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Uffizi Gallery introduces kids’ tour guides and new identity to boost youngsters’ visits

As part of a new exhibition for kids some art work has been hung at a height accessible to them

The Uffizi Gallery in Florence has revealed a new visual identity #UffiziKids at the weekend and introduced 40 dedicated staff who will help guide them around the galleries.

Italy’s most visited museum saw its annual visitors falling to 1.2 million last year, from 4.4 million in 2019 with only 1,150 of those visits including children.

The museum reopened after lockdown in May with 14 new rooms on its first floor of the Gallery with 129 artworks many of which have never before been seen by the general public.

In its latest initiative, reception staff recognisable by a badge that will contain the UffiziKids smiley face logo, will provide extra information to kids on itineraries and on the artwork, which includes many renaissance masterpieces.

Children’s guides will be recognisable by their smiley face badge

“UffiziKids is a qualified point of reference for all those adults who are aware of how important contact with cultural heritage is in the growth and training of young people and how this represents an integral part of their individuality as people and citizens,” said the museum.

By rebranding its kids offer the museum hopes to attract more young visitors and entice them back as they grow older.

Making art normal for children

“We want to make art normal for children, so that when they’re older they’ll think: ‘I’m heading to the city, I’ll pop into the museum’,” said Silvia Mascalchi, coordinator of the Uffizi’s Education Department.

The representatives, whose first day on the job was Friday, carry out their roles alongside their normal duties of ‘monitoring and welcoming’.

A new exhibition launched this week Growing up in ancient Rome also caters to children with more than 30 artworks, including sculptures of divinities represented in toys from thousands of years ago, outlining the theme of the daily life of children in the Roman empire.

Artworks at children’s height

While conceived primarily for adults, the exhibition includes kids features such as simplified label descriptions, comic strips and works placed at children’s height and they can play popular Roman games in the Boboli Gardens.

“The show is inaugurated close to World Children’s Day, on November 20, which should not remain an empty celebration,” said Uffizi director, Eike Schmidt. “For the Uffizi, it is an occasion to approach an age group that is little considered artistically, both as an object and public. Art isn’t just for adults and this show is proof and depicts their peers by crossing centuries of history.”

About the author – Adrian Murphy

Adrian is the Editor of MuseumNext and has 20 years’ experience as a journalist, half of which has been writing for the cultural sector.

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