Rai 1 paid tribute to Fernanda the first female director of the Pinacoteca di Brera

Rai 1 paid tribute to Fernanda the first female director of the Pinacoteca di Brera
Rai 1 broadcast the TV movie Fernanda Wittgens on Tuesday, January 31 after a few days after The Holocaust Memorial Day and it's recorded 3.2mln viewers with an audience share of 17.1%  vs Canale 5's football match "Coppa Italia" that won the slot with 4.4mln viewers.

The movie is produced by Rai Fiction and Mario Rossini of Red Movie, starring Matilde Gioli in the role of Fernanda Wittgens, the first female director of the Pinacoteca di Brera. 
In 1940 Fernanda Wittgens won the competition as director of the Pinacoteca di Brera becoming the first woman in Italy leading a museum and during the Second World War she rescued most of the paintings in Milan's museum.  Wittgens managed to save all the masterpieces of Brera and numerous works of the Museo dell’Ospedale Maggiore and the Museo Poldi Pezzoli, transporting them to safe places and air-raid shelters. She worked on the transfer of the paintings until June 1943. On August, 7th and 8th the Pinacoteca di Brera was bombed by the Allies and 24 rooms out of 36 were destroyed, but, thanks to Fernanda, they were empty.

During the war years, Fernanda Wittgens had worked tirelessly to help friends, family and people of Jewish descent to cross the italian border in order to escape racial persecution. In 1944, however, a young German Jew, whose expatriation Fernanda was organizing, denounced the woman to the Nazis. The famous art historian was jailed first in Como and then in Milan, in San Vittore. Together with Adele Cappelli, Zina and Mariarosa Tresoldi, who were also involved in helping Jews and anti-fascists, she was tried and sentenced to 4 years imprisonment in what the newspapers of the time called “the trial of the ladies”.