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After delay, Italy loans Israel Botticelli work

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September 15, 2013 08:42 AM EST | AP

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JERUSALEM — An aide to Israel's culture minister says Italy will loan a Botticelli masterpiece to Israel as scheduled, after delaying the loan over worries about Syria.

Italy's culture ministry said this month it would not send the 15th-century "The Annunciation of San Martino alla Scala" to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem due to geopolitical and logistical considerations.

But Meir Bardugo, aide to Culture Minister Limor Livnat, said Sunday that the minister worked "behind the scenes intensively" to convince Italy the work would be safe.

The head of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Antonio Natali, told the ANSA news agency on Saturday that the work had left Italy a few days ago bound for Jerusalem.

Israel Museum Director James Snyder said Sunday that the four-month exhibit will open Tuesday.