On November 4, 1966, the worst flood in more than 400 years devastated one of the
world's cultural centers, Florence, Italy. 101 lives were lost as the Arno
River burst over its banks and flooded the great Renaissance city, submerging churches,
museums, homes and businesses in more than 20 feet of roaring water, mud and debris.
The damage to works of art and rare books was catastrophic, and as the laborious
job of recovery began, many artists and organizations from around the world began
to help. But even as the waters were receding, a group of young people who
were living and studying in Florence tirelessly volunteered their time and efforts
to assist in rescuing rare books and art which were in extreme danger. These
volunteers were nicknamed Florence's "Mud Angels."