Center devoted to director Zeffirelli takes shape in Italy

Center devoted to director Zeffirelli takes shape in Italy

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FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — A center dedicated to Italian director Franco Zeffirelli is taking shape in Florence.

The Franco Zeffirelli International Center for the Performing Arts hosted a preview Tuesday of its exhibits, housed in a former Florence courthouse near Palazzo Vecchio.

Some 300 original sketches by the director and more than a dozen costumes used in his operas are displayed. The Inferno Room features a multimedia recreation of Zeffirelli sketches that were inspired by Dante's "Divine Comedy."

Music from some of the 94-year-old director's movies reverberated in the corridors.

Actor Franco Nero, who starred in Zeffirelli's 1988 film "The Young Toscanini," strolled through the preview.

Florence city officials said they hope the center will open to the public in September. It will hold books, photographs and notes, as wells as drawings.

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