The Upper Room closed on May 1, the director: «There wasn’t time to notify everyone»

May 1

The picture of the tourists who displayed the booked and paid for ticket for a visit to Leonardo’s Last Supper on May 1, only to find the entrance to the Upper Room shut due to lack of personnel, went around the world, provoking embarrassment and indignation. The day after, the director of Lombardy museum pole, Emanuela Daffra, said that the reservations management agent  “has alerted the people who had booked the visit”, although “obviously didn’t manage to do it with all”. The director of the ministry of Cultural Heritage has added that, without this communication, “thousands would have shown up in front of the museum’s gates”. In any case, she admitted, “in the light of what happened, we should have stopped the attempt to keep the museum open earlier, to have more time to notify really everybody”.

The other parties

The director of the museum pole has still explained that “in spite of the under-staffing of the whole museum pole, we guarantee many openings. By law, however, we cannot exceed 33% of the holidays. You can only do this if there is the availability of the voluntary staff. We were open Easter, Easter Monday and April 25, but for May 1 availability of voluntary staff was needed, which could have been given until April 25. We tried up to that day to get it, but in vain. It was thus by April 25 that I learned that the first of May the Last Supper would have stayed closed”.


That’s why the communications could only be sent afterwards: “On the 26th consequently, we also published the notice of closure on the museum’s website and at the same time we asked the dealer to notify all those who had booked and refund the ticket, in the event that these people could not visit the museum in the following days. As I said, we actually should have stopped the attempt to stay open earlier, to have more time to warn everyone.”

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