Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (19 July) prior to his departure for Florence:
I am particularly delighted by the reason for my trip today. I am bringing the painting “Vaso di Fiori” (“Vase of Flowers”) by the Dutch painter Jan van Huysum (1682‑1749) back to where it belongs after many years of absence – to its rightful place in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
After many years of cooperation between the two foreign ministries, we have managed to close a yawning gap.
We also need this partnership in a spirit of trust between Germany and Italy for the challenges of the present. From migration to the situation in Libya, there are more than enough issues that we can only tackle together.