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  • Writer's pictureVan Weyenbergh Fine Art

Exceptional exhibition in Rome of the "Marbles of Torlonia" 03/2020 - 01/2021


It has been almost fifty years since we heard about this collection that almost nobody could see.

From March 25 2020, to January 10 2021, will be held in Palazzo Caffarelli, in Rome, the exhibition " The Marbles of Torlonia," with 96 of the 623 statues that make up the largest private collection of statues and ancient busts in the world.

The selection was entrusted to archaeologists and art historians Carlo Gasparri and Salvatore Settis. "It does not tell the story of a Roman collection, explains the latter, but that of the desire to collect in general. "A family of the Roman aristocracy of French origin who made a fortune in the late XVIII century and the nineteenth century in the trading of fabrics and finance. The Torlonia gained the nickname "Roman Rothschild" and a princely title granted by the Vatican, of which they are the bankers. They constitute a formidable collection of art thanks to the objects deposited in guarantee by noble penniless customers in exchange for loans, but also thanks to the campaigns of excavations carried out on their lands of Latium. In 1875, a Torlonia Museum opened in one of the family palaces, and in 1881 their collection was one of the first to be the subject of a detailed photographic catalog.

But in the 1970s, Prince Alessandro Torlonia carried out a real estate speculation operation and cut the entire building into a hundred luxury apartments. The sculptures were installed in large reserves on the ground floor, where they will sleep for more than forty years. In 2014, a Torlonia Foundation was finally created to restore them to the public eye, and in 2016 an agreement is signed with the Ministry of Culture. Death of Patriarch Allessandro, in201,7 slowed down the organization of an exhibition, the heirs fighting the heritance of the patrimony.

Anna Maria Carruba and her team restored the sculptures. Each piece has also been the subject of detailed scientific documentation. An operation made possible thanks to the funding of the luxury jewelry house Bulgari.

"This exhibition will be an international event, the largest museums in the world claim it," said Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini - the names of the Louvre and the British Museum are also the most cited. The goal will then be to find a permanent exhibition place, a Torlonia Museum that makes accessible to all and forever this heritage of humanity. We are looking for a public building with the municipality and the family. "

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