Former Uffizi Director Poised to Lose Florence’s Mayoral Election by Large Margin

Eike Schmidt, a German art historian who once served as the director of the Uffizi Galleries, seems likely to lose his bid to become mayor of Florence.

Although the outcome of the election remains uncertain, votes are being currently being counted, and the numbers as they currently stand do not look good for Schmidt. According to La Nazionale, one third of the votes have been assessed, and Schmidt holds just 39.9 percent of them. By contrast, his opponent, Sara Funaro, has around 60 percent of the votes so far.

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Schmidt ran as a moderate, though he had gained the support of right-wing Italian politicians, who viewed him as someone who could be of use to Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. He promised to return “splendor” to Florence, a historically left-wing city which has recently faced difficulties dealing with the masses of tourists who come to visit.

He promised to “run the municipality according to corporate criteria, without ideology,” and said he did not want to clamp down on tourism so much as ensure that visitors would “schedule” their time in the city. Other remarks by him that appeared to denigrate communities in the southern part of Italy angered left-wing politicians, leading to pushback.

Funaro, who ran on a center-left platform, seems set to now become Florence’s first female mayor. While votes are still being counted, she has treated the results so far as a victory, saying, per the Italian news agency ANSA, “It has been a very long and very beautiful marathon.”


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