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Atlanta scores in Italian art

October 27, 2006|From the Associated Press

A few days after opening the first exhibit in a three-year partnership with the Louvre in Paris, the High Museum in Atlanta announced that it will be the first of three stops in the United States for an iconic masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance that has never left Florence.

Three panels from the eastern doors of the Baptistery, called "Gates of Paradise," will be on view starting April 28. They and seven other panels depicting pious scenes from the Old Testament -- created in low relief by Lorenzo Ghiberti from 1425 to 1452 -- have been undergoing restoration for more than 25 years.

In exchange for hosting the exhibit, the High has made a "significant contribution" to the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, the museum of the Florence cathedral, so it can restore an early Renaissance silver altar that was also inside the Baptistery, said Philip Verre, the High's deputy director.

After Atlanta, the panels will travel to the Art Institute in Chicago and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York before returning to a museum in Florence.

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