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Puccio Speroni 1939-2019

After a long period of illness, conservator and former head of Painting Conservation at the National Museum of Denmark, Puccio Speroni, died at almost 80. Puccio came to the world in Impruneta, a town situated between the rolling hills south of Florence. He was trained as a scenographer from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze, but as scenography appeared to be breadless in those days, Puccio Speroni got employed in the conservation workshop at the Uffizi Museum already in 1964. The devastating flooding of the Arno River in 1966 became decisive for his further work. Puccio Speroni was hired at Limonaia di Boboli (the Greenhouse in the Boboli Park behind Palazzo Pitti) in 1968 and led the rescue work for the many works of art that had been damaged by the water and mud. Young volunteers who traveled to Florence from around the world to help after the disaster report that they would be put to work in Limonaia di Boboli, where Puccio Speroni instructed the newcomers in the necessary first aid for the works of art.
From 1969 to 1976 Puccio Speroni worked at various conservation workshops at Fortezza da Basso, which cares for the many works of art that Tuscany is rich in. Chief conservator Steen Bjarnhof, Statens Museum for Kunst, Denmark, participated with several colleagues from the Nordic countries in the rescue work in Florence, and in 1977 he invited Puccio Speroni to work for a 6-month period at the Danish Art Museum. Following this he in 1978 moved to the Danish National Museum's workshops in Brede, where he worked until 2000 and longest as head of the painting conservation. In addition to conservation and restoration at the museum, Puccio was actively engaged in developing new conservation equipment and methods, participated in teaching at international summer school programs on recent lining techniques and published the results widely.
Besides his work at the National Museum, Puccio Speroni was also active within the International ICOM Committee for Conservation, where he sat on the board from 1993-1999, the last three years as vice president. He was part of organizing the first Eastern European ICOM-CC conference in Dresden in 1990 immediately after the fall of the Iron Curtain. In 2002, Puccio Speroni received the ICOM-CC's medal of merit as recognition of his important work in the organisation and for his career as a conservator.
After his retirement, Puccio Speroni resumed painting, and performed several works with compositions and portraits. In 2010, a retrospective exhibition of his works was held at the Italian Cultural Institute in Hellerup, Denmark. At the exhibition opening, one could meet a large and varied crowd of Puccio's friends and acquaintances, and precisely the social and the festive gatherings were well-known ingredients throughout Puccio's life in Denmark. Countless are the dinner parties and carnivals, which he and his wife Kirsten Trampedach, a recently retired wall-paintings conservator from the National Museum, have held in their beautiful and extremely welcoming home in Copenhagen. This was among friends called ‘Pensione Speroni’, and many are the local and international guests who have benefited from the hospitality and the daunting Italian cuisine that was shared in abundance, something that will stand as a strong and beautiful memory of a now dearly missed Tuscan colleague and friend.

Mikkel Scharff & Jørgen Wadum

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