The French artist JR unveiled a stunning art installation on the facade of Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, allowing the public access to art as Italy re-establishes COVID restrictions. A few Italian cities including Venice, Florence, Milan, and Rome went back into lockdown on March 15 with the rules expecting to remain in place until April 6. This includes the closure of museums and cultural institutions.

JR has put to practice his signature photo collage method to create an installation on the exterior of Palazzo Strozzi for passersby to enjoy. The installation is called La Ferita which translates into English as “The Wound.” His work creates an optical illusion of a gash that runs down the facade allowing the public to see what is inside the museum.

The idea behind the installation is to convey the metaphorical wound that cultural establishments and museums are suffering during this time. “What all these lockdowns have shown us very clearly is that people are hungry for culture. They want to access exhibitions, museums, libraries, theaters, cinemas, to have culture back as a fundamental part of their lives,” the Museum Director Arturo Galansino told Artnet News, adding “We want this work to be seen as an invitation to rediscover a direct relationship with art and to explore new forms of sharing and participation — a call to action for art and culture in this difficult moment.”

With access to art restricted and the major loss of tourism which accounts for a large portion of Florence and other Italian cities’ income, local economies across the country are suffering. Galansino hopes for a brighter future full of cooperation between artists, institutions, and fundraising.