How public art saved a town

2011-10-28 09:21

In the 1920s, English writer Aldous Huxley visited Sansepolcro, an Italian town located in the southeast of Tuscany. He was gathering material for a book and was captivated by a mural he found adorning a wall there. He proclaimed it “the greatest picture in the world”.

Fast forward 20 years to during the second world war, when a British artillery unit began bombing Sansepolcro to drive out the Germans that were hiding there.

Luckily for the occupied town, British Captain Anthony Clarke remembered reading Huxley’s essay and – though he had never seen The Resurrection, based on Huxley’s remark – he stopped the bombing. He hoped that “the greatest picture in the world” hadn’t been damaged yet.

Thus, the town of Sansepolcro was spared, as were many people’s lives. The mural by Piero Della Francesca titled The Resurrection.

It is on the wall of the Town hall of Sansepolcro an Italian town that has the painting to thank for being spared the worst of the Allied bombings

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