ROMA ARCHEOLOGICA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA 2020. Gli affreschi di Palazzo Silvestri-Rivaldi a Roma stupiscono ancora una volta. The Times London / Rome (29/12/2020). S.v., Foto di ANNALISA P. CIGNITTI (04/2017) & Dr. Arch. Camilla Capitani (1993).
ROME – Frescoes of Rome’s Palazzo Silvestri-Rivaldi dazzle once again. The Times London / Tom Kington, Rome (29/12/2020).
ROME – In a crumbling and abandoned Rome palazzo restorers are scraping grey paint off the walls to reveal brightly coloured frescoes of pagan goddesses, bloody battles and proud Roman emperors.
“We knew this place was famous for beautiful frescoes in the Renaissance, and we are now discovering really high quality 16th-century work from the school of Raphael,” Daniela Porro, the city’s chief archaeologist, said.
So much of Rome’s history is still hidden from the public but things are changing at Palazzo Silvestri-Rivaldi where a €35 million refurbishment will write another chapter in the amazing life of a building that has hosted a pope and been a home for destitute women, American jazz musicians and hostage-taking communists before being abandoned.
The 4,000 sq m palazzo overlooking the Roman Forum is rarely noticed by passing tourists but can now return to centre stage as the Italian government offers it as the new home for the Torlonia statues, the world’s greatest private collection of Roman sculptures, which emerged this year from the vaults of Rome’s Torlonia family.
Work is already under way restoring frescoes commissioned by Eurialo Silvestri, a papal aide who built the palazzo in the 1540s. Restorers squeeze between scaffolding holding up partly collapsed ceilings and shiver as broken windows let in the cold wind from the courtyard.
It was later acquired by Alessandro Ottaviano de’ Medici — better known as Pope Leo XI — who commissioned more frescoes, then changed hands repeatedly until a century later it became a church-run home for destitute women who dyed cloth and made uniforms for the Vatican’s Swiss guards. “That’s why these were painted over,” said Ms Porro, pointing to the newly uncovered frescoes of risque naked goddesses.
Disaster struck in 1932 when Mussolini bulldozed through the huge garden, which boasted its own lake, to build a wide avenue through the Forum.
By the 1970s the palace was abandoned and squatted in by musicians who held concerts by visiting Americans such as the jazz drummer Marvin “Bugalu” Smith. In 1976 a radical communist group linked to the Red Brigades kidnapped a Roman butcher and briefly held him captive at the palazzo while demanding cut-price meat for Rome’s poor.
“We are finding graffiti left by the squatters,” said Maria Adelaide Ricciardi, a restorer for the culture ministry. “Every layer of history is here . . . and now we want this place to have a new life.”
Foto / fonte / source:
— The Times London / Tom Kington, Rome (29/12/2020).
— ROMA ARCHEOLOGICA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA 2020. Rome Metro C & Palazzo Rivaldi – Rome to restore forgotten palace near the Colosseum. Wanted in Rome (08/09/2020). S.v., ROMA TODAY (10/08/2020); Il Fatto Quatidiano / Blog (15/07/2018), La Repubblica (18/04/1995), Dr. Arch. Camilla Capitani (1993) & Antonio Cederna (1987). https://wp.me/pbMWvy-A9
— ROMA ARCHEOLOGICA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA 2020. ARCHEOLOGIA – Forse qui la Collezione Torlonia? Il Palazzo Silvestri Rivaldi costituisce un’opportunità irripetibile per l’auspicata realizzazione del nuovo museo. Il Giornale dell’Arte, No. 404 (01/2020), MIBACT (10/2020) & Foto di ANNALISA P. CIGNITTI (04/2017). S.v., Dr. Arch. Camilla Capitani (1993), Prof. Antonio Cederna (1987), Dr. Angela Napoletano (2009), Prof. Arch. Pier Luigi Tucci (2001), Dr. Antonio Munoz (S. De Angelis) & Dr. Arch. Italo Gismondi [mid-1930s?]. https://wp.me/pbMWvy-Jv