Self-portrait by British street artist added to collection at Florence's Uffizi Galleries

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Florence's storied Uffizi Galleries, home to many of the world's most important works of the Italian Renaissance, made history Monday when it announced it had added a painting from the cutting-edge British street artist called Endless to the museum's permanent collection.

The work -- a mixed-media self-portrait donated to the gallery by the artist -- will now be part of the same collection as works of Sandro Botticelli, Caravaggio, Angelico Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian.

Eike Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Galleries, praised Endless's work as "an original blend of punk and pop, which extends to conceptual art in this self-portrait."

Schmidt went on: "In the Uffizi's historical collections, we can see how thirsty the Medici grand dukes were for the latest new thing, even the most audacious work on the art scene. I think they would be happy to see Endless' art become part of the collections that they began and increased centuries ago with such dedication."

Also in a statement, Endless said it was "an honor" to have his painting added to the gallery's permanent collection.

"Artists who come from a street background are rarely acknowledged by prestigious galleries, especially those with such historical and cultural caliber" as the Uffizi, Endless wrote.

After remaining closed for weeks due to health restrictions tied to the coronavirus pandemic, the Uffizi Galleries reopened last month. 

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