The «Last Supper» closed. The visitors in a protest: «We had booked»

There are three Dutchmen, two Koreans, seven Italians. But that’s not the beginning of a joke. “It looks like an April’s Fool — the visitors say ironically —, but it’s a May’s Fool instead”. In Santa Maria delle Grazie square, in front of the Basilica’s side gate, are the 3 PM round’s wanna-be visitors of the Last Supper, Milan’s main cultural attraction, by the way in a year, 2019, dedicated by the city to its author Leonardo da Vinci. But in the eternal issue of the public Italian museum centers under-staffing during the holidays, even at the Grazie the workers (guardians) are missing, and the museum stays closed despite the announcements of an extraordinary opening.

Italians and foreigners are clustered around a girl who was randomly walking nearby and now tries to help. All hold in their hands a printed sheet (or a cell phone) with a regular booking. Date: May 1.

“We have phoned several times to have confirmation that it was open,” explains Mariella Bachiavini, assistant in the dental practice from Reggio Emilia, in town with a group of her friends who are passionate about art and, a month ago, have decided to arrange a visit to the Last Supper. “We booked, knowing full well that it was Workers Day, but we had been assured of the regular opening, there was no reason for doubting,” adds her friend, Rita, office worker. They are used to move among the masterpieces of the whole Italy but such a discomfort, they swear, they don’t remember. No institutional interlocutor, “no notice”, they ensure, “we are stumped”.

So, in the absence of official responses, to answer visitors’s question, is only the job of random passers-by who are willing to give a hand. But no one is responding officially. Not even the dedicated telephone number.

“And yet here it is written, 3 PM of May 1 — insists the Russian citizen resident in Monza, Natalia Gayvoromskaya, who had booked for his family visiting Milan —. They were eager to discover the painting they always had heard talk about since their childhood: how is that possible that, in spite of the ticket paid in great advance, we have not been informed ahead of time?”

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