Uffizi (ōf-fēˈtsē) [key], palace in Florence, Italy, built in the 16th cent. by Giorgio Vasari for Cosimo I de' Medici as public offices. It houses the state archives of Tuscany and the Uffizi Gallery, one of the world's richest art collections. Besides the Florentine, all the Italian as well as the Dutch and Flemish schools are well represented, with works by Botticelli, Raphael, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Titian, and Rubens, to name only a few. It also houses the world-famous statue of the Venus of the Medici (Greek, 3d cent. B.C.), with other Greek, Roman, and Renaissance sculpture. The Uffizi contains a fine collection of artists' self-portraits. In 1993 a car bomb (alleged to have been set by the Sicilian Mafia) damaged or destroyed portions of the palace, destroying three paintings and damaging more than 30 other works of art. In 1998 a renovated Uffizi reopened with damaged artworks and galleries restored. It now includes a new wing, bookshop, cafe, multimedia information center, and other features.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.