Italy’s Uffizi Gallery wins US court battle against ‘bloodsucking’ ticket touts

The world-famous Uffizi Gallery in Florence is celebrating after a US court barred online ticket touts from using the Italian museum's name.

Italy's Uffizi Gallery wins US court battle against 'bloodsucking' ticket touts
Florence's Uffizi Gallery (Galleria degli Uffizi) is one of Italy's most important, and most-visited, museums. Photo: AFP

The Arizona court ruled on Thusday against third parties using several addresses including and, the museum said, hailing the “historic” ruling.

Visitors to historic museums and sites around the world are frequently confronted with a plethora of websites masquerading as official sites when seeking to buy tickets online.

“These websites have been exploited to date for the sale of tickets to the museum at grossly inflated prices through improper use of the name Uffizi in a deliberate attempt to trick visitors,” the gallery said in a statement.

Visitors queue to get into the Uffizi Gallery (Galleria degli Uffizi) in Florence. Photo: AFP

“This was no mere small-time legal tussle: huge sums of money are involved in the phenomenon of online ticket touting, and it is money stolen from the community as a whole that ends up lining the pockets of the web's artful dodgers.”

The legal battle was with BoxNic Anstalt, a company that had registered numerous domains containing the word Uffizi in Arizona, said the museum, one of the most visited in the world.

The Arizona Federal Court has now declared the “museum's superior right” over that company to use the Uffizi name, brand and logo.

BoxNic had argued that the term “uffizi” was simply an old-fashioned spelling of the Italian word “uffici” or “offices”


The court “has obliged the company to transfer the registration of the domains it had misappropriated to the Uffizi within 15 days,” the gallery said.

“We have delivered a devastating blow to the web's bloodsuckers who have been exploiting our heritage illegally and in bad faith for years like parasites, depriving the community of resources,” said gallery director Eike Schmidt.

“The Arizona court's ruling sets an extremely important international precedent,” the museum said.

The director of Florence's Uffizi Gallery museum, German Eike Schmidt. Photo: AFP

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Italy’s president calls for ‘full truth’ on anniversary of Bologna bombing

President Sergio Mattarella said on Tuesday it was the state's duty to shed more light on the 1980 bombing of Bologna's train station, on the 42nd anniversary of the attack that killed 85 people and injured 200.

Italy's president calls for 'full truth' on anniversary of Bologna bombing

On August 2nd 1980, a bomb exploded in the railway station’s waiting room, causing devastation on an unprecedented scale.

Five members of terrorist groups were later convicted in relation to the bombing, the worst episode in Italy’s ‘Years of Lead’ period of political violence in the 1970s and 80s.

Most recently, in 2020, a former member of the far-right Armed Revolutionary Nucleus (NAR) was sentenced to life imprisonment for providing logistical support to those who carried out the attack.

But suspicions remain of cover-ups and the involvement of “deviant elements” within the nation’s security services, reported Italian news agency Ansa.

READ ALSO: Bologna massacre: 40 years on, questions remain over Italy’s deadliest postwar terror attack

“The bomb that killed people who happened to be at the station on that morning 42 years ago still reverberates with violence in the depths of the country’s conscience,” Mattarella said in a speech marking the anniversary on Tuesday.

“It was the act of cowardly men of unequalled inhumanity, one of the most terrible of the history of the Italian Republic.

A train compartment at Bologna station pictured following the 1980 bombing attributed to the neo-fascist terrorist organization Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari.

“It was a terrorist attack that sought to destabilise democratic institutions and sow fear, hitting ordinary citizens going about their everyday tasks.

“On the day of the anniversary our thoughts go, above all, to the relatives forced to suffer the greatest pain.

“The neo-fascist nature of the massacre has been established in court and further steps have been made to unveil the cover-ups and those who ordered the attack in order to comply with the Republic’s duty to seek the full truth”.

The bombing remains Western Europe’s fourth deadliest postwar terror attack, and one of the most devastating in Italy’s history.