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Rare Italian renaissance paintings to be shown in Canberra of Australia

(Xinhua)

10:52, August 31, 2011

CANBERRA, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Rare 15th and 16th Century Italian renaissance paintings would be shown in Canberram, Australia this summer for the first time, said National Gallery of Australia's (NGA) on Tuesday.

More than 70 works by Raphael, Botticelli, Bellini, Titian, Carpaccio and Perugino, have been loaned to NGA, at the time when the art academy and gallery located in northern Italy undergoes renovations.

According to NGA director Ron Radford, he had been negotiating the deal for three years.

He said it would be the first time most of the paintings have left Europe, and also Australia's first exhibition of 15th and 16th century Italian Renaissance paintings.

"There are very few great Italian pictures in Australian and there never really will be," he said in a statement released on Tuesday.

"To actually see works by Raphael and Botticelli and Bellini and Titian I think is a great thrill for Australians."

"To see these ancient 500-year-old Italian masters of the Renaissance -- which has to be one of the gold periods of all time- - has universal appeal."

Radford said "Renaissance: 15th and 16th Century Italian paintings from the Academia Carrara Bergamo" would open in NGA in Canberra on Dec. 9, and would run until April 9 next year.

Radford said he is confident that the upcoming Italian Renaissance exhibition will build on the success of the previous Masterpieces From Paris exhibition.

Masterpieces From Paris broke national gallery attendance records during the summer of 2009 and 2010, attracting nearly 500, 000 visitors.

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