Italian senator chains himself to Florence museum

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FLORENCE -- An Italian senator chained himself to a column near the gates of the Uffizi museum Monday to protest the loan of Leonardo da Vinci's "Annunciation" for a show at Japan's National Museum in Tokyo...

In protesting the loan, Sen. Paolo Amato said it exposes a priceless masterpiece to unnecessary risk and belittles its significance by using it in a commercial event.

Inside the museum, the 6 1/2-foot-by-3-foot painting was being bundled in three protective crates filled with shock-absorbers and high-tech sensors to monitor humidity, temperatures and stress levels in preparation for departure Tuesday.

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