Saturday 5 November 2011

British Consulate in Florence to close

After being represented diplomatically in Florence for 555 years with few breaks, the UK will close its consulate in Florence at the end of 2011. The official duties of the Florence consulate will be taken over by the Milan office.

British Consulate in Florence, Italy
British Consulate in Florence
This was one of Britain’s oldest international diplomatic seats, tracing its roots back to 1456 when an English legation was based in Florence. The list of consuls begins in 1698 with Sir Lambert Blackwell, “consul at Leghorn”, as the port city of Livorno was then known, and continues through Sir Horace Mann, who as consul in Florence from 1760 to 1786 turned the consulate into a salon, receiving all Britons of rank who passed through the city. In the meantime, since 2007, the UK Foreign Office has opened consulates in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo; Antananarivo, Madagascar; and Juba, Sudan. I wonder if they really have their priorities right.

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