More than ninety marbles from the Torlonia Collection will soon be on view to the public at a major show in Rome.The exhibition “The Torlonia Marbles. Collecting Masterpieces” is the first step of the agreement signed the 15th of March 2016 between the Ministry for the Cultural Heritage Activities and Tourism and the Torlonia Foundation and is a result of the institutional agreement signed by the Directorate General for Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape and the Special Superintendency of Rome with the Torlonia Foundation itself. The scientific project for enhancing the collection is entrusted to Salvatore Settis. He is curating the exhibition with Carlo Gasparri, both archaeologists and academics of the Accademia dei Lincei. The exhibition is organized by Electa, publisher of the catalog. The sculptures selected have been restored thanks to the contribution of Bvlgari. The history of the Torlonia Museum at the Lungara (founded by Prince Alessandro Torlonia in 1875), with its 620 cataloged works of art, appears of outstanding importance. This collection is the result of a long series of acquisitions and some significant shifts of sculptures between the various residences of the Family.
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We can even say that the Torlonia marbles constitute a collection of collections or rather a highly representative and privileged cross-section of the history of the collecting of antiquities in Rome from the 15th to the 19th centuries. The items on display are not only outstanding examples of ancient sculpture (busts, reliefs, statues, sarcophagi, and decorative elements) but also a reflection of a cultural process – the beginnings of the collecting of antiquities and the crucially important transition from the collection to the Museum: a process where Rome and Italy have had an indisputable primacy. In this way, the exhibition traces the formation of the Torlonia Collection, and the last of its five sections eloquently relates to the adjacent exedra of bronzes and the statue of Marcus Aurelius in the Musei Capitolini, bringing out the ties between the beginnings of private collecting of antiquities and the significance of the donation of the Lateran bronzes to the city of Rome by Sixtus IV in 1471.
The project to organize the exhibition of the Torlonia Collection in the renovated spaces of the new venue of the Musei Capitolini at Villa Caffarelli restored to life through the commitment and the project of the Superintendency for Roma Capitale is by David Chipperfield Architects Milan.
The 2020 event is the first stage of a traveling exhibition, for which agreements are in progress with major international museums and which will conclude with the identification of permanent exhibition spaces for the opening of a new Torlonia Museum.