Foto: Senatrice Margherita Corrado / Facebook (01/05/2021).

ROMA ARCHEOLOGICA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA 2021. NEWS FROM ROME: Marmi Torlonia, an odyssey of treasures without a home. Italy24 News English (02 May 2021). S.v., Il Messaggero (01/05/2021), Sky-Tg24 (30/04/20211) & Senator Margherita Corrado / Facebook (01/05/2021).

1). ROME – Marmi Torlonia, an odyssey of treasures without a home. Italy24 News English (02 May 2021).

Fonte / source – Foto: Senatrice & Archeologa Margherita Corrado / Facebook (01/05/2021).

That cultural light that the pandemic has extinguished by throwing the Torlonia Marbles into the dark, with the reopening of the museums illuminates again the exhibition conceived by Salvatore Settis, great master of show archeology, on the ground floor of Villa Caffarelli in Rome (it is on the bill until June 29). It won’t be for long, though. Soon the 91 statues, a little whitened by the restoration that eliminated the ancient patina, will leave the Capitol for the Louvre in Paris and then, after crossing the Atlantic and the United States, they will land on the Pacific in the luxurious rooms of the Paul Getty Museum of Los Angeles. Although provisionally, the largest private collection of ancient Roman statues will be dismembered, 618 in all, collected in the second half of the nineteenth century by Alessandro Torlonia, l’homme á l’argent cited by Stendhal, “quer prencipe who spenne li mijoni” for Gioacchino Belli.

The other 527 statues will in fact remain in the humid garages of via della Lungara, almost abandoned where the last of the Torlonia princes, also Alessandro, had piled them, who in the 1960s had transformed the Museum inherited from his ancestor, with the excuse of to restore the roof, in more than ninety prestigious apartments. In the Settis catalog the story is removed, therefore censored.

Towards the end of the seventies, while the controversy over the Torlonia speculation was raging, and expropriation was being asked from the columns of the Corriere, I managed to photograph the hidden collection for l’Espresso. It wasn’t easy. The prince, who greatly displeased the journalists, let me know that he would only deal with Prince Caracciolo. Owner of the newspaper, Carlo Caracciolo, not without irony, fulfilled the task perfectly. The scoop had international resonance. Giulio Carlo Argan, the art historian then mayor of Rome, tried to buy the collection. Over time, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi also tried. And then Vittorio Sgarbi when he was undersecretary.

After so many failures, Minister Dario Franceschini deserves great credit for being able to find an agreement with the Torlonia heirs, with the idea of ​​returning the entire collection to the public. Indeed, the Villa Caffarelli exhibition should be the first step in an ambitious project that involves the creation of a new museum. But it seems that the attics of Palazzo Silvestri Rivaldi, near the Colosseum, are not suitable for supporting the weight of six hundred statues. The importance of the Torlonia Collection, in fact, lies not only in the artistic value of the individual pieces, albeit exceptional as the bas-relief representing the Port of Trajan rather than the monumental Hestia (Vesta), but instead in its historical nature as a collection, a “collection of collections », in which many stories converge, stories of taste and power, of patronage and restoration.
Son of Giovanni Torlonia, a parvenu among the papal nobility, grandson of Marin Tourlonias, the progenitor, who arrived in Rome in 1750 following a prelate expelled by Louis XV, perhaps a spy for the Spaniards, who soon became Marino after opening a fabric shop and a small pawnshop in Piazza di Spagna, Alessandro Torlonia, ennobled prince, with his collection of Roman marbles has handed down not only his image as the pope’s banker, but also his extraordinary figure as a talented collector.

The photos published by Espresso in January 1979, which hand down the deplorable state of the collection at the time, are confirmed by the photos taken by Cultural Heritage that we see in the report by John Pedeferri, broadcast today and tomorrow on Skytg24, which reopens the controversy on Torlonia marbles . In an exhaustive podcast (Trafug’arte) that can be listened to on the website, the testimony of Senator Margherita Corrado, a Cinquestelle defector, is concerned about the Torlonia affair, “a world tour of the exhibition, treated as a parcel, instead of the only two locations selected at the beginning, both of which are questionable in terms of expediency, since it is the Louvre which does not lend its masterpieces to Italy and until 97 bought also on the illegal market and the Getty Museum which in recent years has worked hard to buy and export part of the Torlonia collection to the USA”. According to the historian Vittorio Sgarbi, to save the collection the solution is self-evident: “The State must tell the Torlonia: having acknowledged your availability, I will buy everything … it would be the only solution … for a sum that could be around 250 million euros “. Yes, it is still a “mijoni” business, as Belli understood.

Fonte / source:
— Italy24 News English (05 May 2021).


ROMA ARCHEOLOGICA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA 2021. Marmi Torlonia, an odyssey of treasures without a home. Italy24 News English (02 May 2021). S.v.,  Il Messaggero (01/05/2021), Sky-Tg24 (30/04/20211) & Senator Margherita Corrado / Facebook (01/05/2021).

2). ROMA ARCHEOLOGICA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA 2021. Dario Franceschini, Marmi Torlonia & Il Tour Mondiale – Affittato a Musei Stranieri; in: Il Messaggero (01/05/2021), Sky-Tg24 (30/04/20211) & l’Espresso (28/01/1979). Fonte: Senatrice & Archeologa Margherita Corrado / Facebook (01/05/2021). Anche: Gianni de Dominicis / Facebook (27-30/10/2020).