Museum of Classical Art

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In search of beauty

Until 22 December 2023

The Museum of Classical Art

The Museum of Classical Art of the University of Rome La Sapienza , often also known as the "Museum of Plasters", was founded by Emanuel Löwy, who since his appointment as professor of Archeology and History of Art in 1889/1890 has worked hard to create a collection of casts on the model of university plaster casts which in Europe - especially in Germany - had arisen as indispensable teaching and research tools.

The first nucleus of the Museum , gradually increased thanks to Löwy, who directed it until 1915, was set up in some rooms in via Luca della Robbia in Testaccio. In 1924 the Museum of Classical Art was transferred to the S. Michele Institute, but the spaces soon proved inadequate to the size of the constantly growing museum patrimony, as became evident during the direction of Giulio Emanuele Rizzo.

A few years later, with the construction of the new University City, the collection found a new and more suitable location in the basement rooms of the building intended for the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy, the same ones it still occupies, designed by Ernesto Rapisardi.

Since then the Museum took on the name of Museum of Classical Art. The exhibition of the casts in the new headquarters, set up in the summer of 1935, followed the criterion of a traditional chronological order, always maintained by the successive directors, among whom we remember in particular Giulio Quirino Giglioli, Giovanni Becatti, Sandro Stucchi , and was also preserved after the extensive restoration and renovation carried out between 1996 and 2000, under the direction of Andrea Carandini.

Among the most recent acquisitions there is the “Giovane di Mozia” (found in 1979), which represents one of the first examples of reproduction based on a digital model obtained in 2004 through laser scanning of the original. On the other hand, the Prada Foundation donated copies of the fragments of the group of the Tyrannicides of Baia , obtained after laser scanning of the originals, with a 3D printer by the ITABC, dates back to 2015.


Permanent Collection

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Pz.le Aldo Moro, 5
00185 Rome


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