Having been inaccessible for half of a century, 96 works from the Torlonia family’s collection of Greek and Roman sculptures will be in an exhibition this April. A major show in Rome “The Torlonia Marbles: Collecting Masterpieces will be presented to the public in the new exhibition venue of the Musei Capitolini at Palazzo Caffarelli of Rome Capital. A long dispute between the Italian state and Alessandro Torlonia, who died in 2017, got in the way of such an exhibition, but an agreement has been signed between the Ministry for the Cultural Heritage Activities and Tourism and the Torlonia Foundation. The Italian president plans to open the show.
The Torlonia marbles are a collection from the 15th to the 19th centuries. The pieces 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. The exhibition runs April 2020 through January 2021.