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Palazzo Vecchio – The painting with the UFO

Palazzo Vecchio has been the ancient seat of Florentine power for centuries and hides treasures of rare beauty. It is impossible to mention them all, from the Salone dei Cinquecento to the Studiolo di Francesco I, without forgetting the remains of the ancient Roman theatre or the striking Quartiere degli Elementi. But today we want to talk to you about a rather curious subject. Because as absurd as it sounds, Palazzo Vecchio is said to have some connection with UFOs, unidentified flying objects. Don’t believe it?

If you go to the second floor of the Palazzo Vecchio, in the Sala D’Ercole, you can admire the painting entitled ‘Madonna and Child with St. John’. It is a typical ‘tondo’ depicting the Madonna with the infant Jesus and the little Saint John. This work, attributed to the workshop of Filippino Lippi, has recently gained notoriety for its depiction of a probable UFO. If one analyses the work, in fact, at the bottom right, right behind the Madonna, one can make out a shepherd accompanied by a dog. The two small figures, however, instead of tending their flock as one would expect, are intent on scanning the sky above them.

If one looks up again, following that of the shepherd and the animal, one notices how the artist has inserted an element into the vault of heaven that is, to say the least, peculiar: a grey, circular object. An object with small protrusions reminiscent of a sort of moving spaceship. In short, a flying saucer.

Most art critics have obviously rejected this theory, claiming that the strange object would rather represent the cloud that illuminated the Birth of Christ, a recurring element in numerous other works. However, the painting does not cease to exert a certain fascination and even today, looking at it arouses some perplexity.

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