Rome, July 20th, 2016 - Today a ceremony to present the restoration of the Sala degli Imperatori of the Capitoline Museums was held at Romes Capitol in the presence of the Mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, Enel Green Power CEO Francesco Venturini, Romes Councillor for Cultural Growth Luca Bergamo and the Citys Superintendent of Cultural Heritage Claudio Parisi Presicce. The Capitoline Museums Sala degli Imperatori has been reopened to the public after renovation works that have restored the ancient splendour of its walls and rich sculptural ornamentation. The renovation work, promoted by the citys Sovraintendenza Capitolina, was made possible thanks to the support of Enel Green Power, an act of cultural patronage that continues and strengthens the fruitful public-private partnership aimed at enhancing Romes immense cultural heritage.
With a view to promoting the Capitoline treasures at an international level, the closure of Sala for the restoration work was an opportunity to stage a temporary show of 20 busts of Roman emperors at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art of the University of Oklahoma as part of the Immortales exhibition. This initiative was an important opportunity for cultural exchange in a broad collaborative relationship that now looks to the future. Among the possible developments of this major example of public-private synergy aimed at the restoration and development of the most prominent archaeological, historical and artistic sites of Roma Capitale, Enel Green Powers availability to participate in the restoration and development of the Villa Caffarelli area, in particular the external spaces (Giardino Caffarelli and Giardino De Vico) and the renovation and restoration of the three fountains, has a particular importance.
The restoration of the Sala degli Imperatori
The restoration also produced unexpected surprises, such as the discovery of eighteenth-century gilt work and other previously unknown decorative details. The rediscovery of the original leaf gilding of the fluting and whorls has lent new light to the stucco bas-relief cornices.
The plaster has been returned to its original colour, which had been significantly compromised over time. In particular, the shades adopted in the eighteenth century have been restored, recovering the heron blue (the "colour of air") of the walls and the delicate ivory white used for architectural features, the plant motif pilasters and oak leaf wreaths. Careful restoration work was carried out on the six ancient bas-reliefs embedded in the walls, including the one depicting the myth of Perseus and Andromeda, the one depicting Endymion asleep on a rock and the one dedicated to the Nymphs. Liberated from the thick layer of dust and scaling and lightened of the heavy and intrusive stucco, we can now appreciate all their formal and aesthetic quality, fully confirming the admiration they aroused in artists and scholars in past centuries. Of particular interest is the discovery of the eighteenth-century terracotta addition in the sarcophagus featuring Dionysian combat, made to hide the missing original section. Another impressive feat is the restoration of the eight busts on shelves and the counters supporting the imperial portraits, masterfully executed in stucco and decorated in faux marble.
Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali
Ufficio Comunicazione e Relazioni Esterne
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