The MANN Runners...keep on running. They are now on display in Vetulonia

There is no respite for the MANN Runners who... continue to run for museums. After leaving the Baths of Diocletian, they now arrive in Vetulonia for a new exhibition. Only one of the two, however: the other is on display as a copy.

The Herculaneum Runners do not stop running: after being displayed at the controversial Bottega Veneta fashion show, where a case was opened following a report from us, after being guests at the exhibition L’istante e l’eternità at the Baths of Diocletian in Rome, now the two iconic bronzes from the National Archaeological Museum in Naples make a stop in Tuscany where, from July 19, they will be on display at the Isidoro Falchi Civic Archaeological Museum in Vetulonia (Castiglione della Pescaia, Grosseto), to enrich the exhibition entitled Corpo a corpo. From the Classical Beauty of the Masterpieces of the National Archaeological Museum of Naples to the Classicism of Beauty in the Work of Mitoraj. The exhibition, which opened June 17 and can be visited until Nov. 5, opens its doors wide to welcome the two Corridors from the MANN-National Archaeological Museum of Naples, arriving in Vetulonia directly from the Museum of the Baths of Diocletian in Rome. There will not, however, be both originals: in Vetulonia, in fact, the public will see one original runner, and the other instead displayed with a reproduction (the reasons for this singular choice are not known: probably the Corridori... have been separated, since only one is now on display in Rome, perhaps the one that does not go to Vetulonia).

The two young bronze athletes, works from the Roman period (probably the 1st century B.C.) inspired by Greek models from the school of Lysippus, fit into the exhibition narrative of the Vetulonia show, which, with the presence of the Runners, intends to exalt “the universally positive and ’transversal’ value of sport” (so in a note). The two runners are portrayed in one of the competitions in which running was declined, considered one of the main forms of athletic competition, likely engaged in the “stadion” (from which the modern architectural structure takes its name), a speed race contested by boys, ephebes and adults also characterized by an important ritual role.

The Body-to-Body exhibition at Vetulonia displays Roman marble and bronze statues of the best-known Greek originals of Greek, Classical and Hellenistic art, such as four marble male nudes, including the Farnese Gladiator, the torso of the “Amelung-type” Athlete by Myron, the torso of Polyclitus’ Diadumenus, the “Palestrite” or Boxer from Sorrento, to which is added the bronze Herma of Polyclitus’ Doriphorus, probably the only Roman cast of the great Greek master’s original from the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum, like the Corridors. All are on loan from the MANN in Naples.

Alongside these works, the exhibition’s itinerary also displays a Nude by Igor Mitoraj, a bronze sculpture by the Polish artist.

“With the arrival of these additional masterpieces,” comments Castiglione della Pescaia mayor Elena Nappi, “we complete the exhibition itinerary of an exhibition that confirms its international caliber. This demonstrates the cultural attractiveness of our territory and its ability, thanks to Muvet, to dialogue with prestigious organizations such as the National Archaeological Museum of Naples and the Igor Mitoraj Museum Foundation, which has offered us theopportunity to approach ancient art, the most original interpreter of classicism, the only contemporary artist to be able to exhibit his works inside the ruins of Pompeii. This is an extraordinary fact that fills us with pride.”

“With this exhibition,” explains Simona Rafanelli, director of MuVet, “the visitor is introduced to an immersive journey in the presence of the greatest artists and the most famous works of classical and Hellenistic art. Through the different competitive disciplines and the different ages of the athletes, the body in motion is celebrated, in its ’masculine’ declination, translated into the postures assumed by the athlete during sports performance, and the beauty of classical art understood as the emanation of a perfect and circular composition of gestures in the harmony of forms.”

Those who would like to preview the Runners can go to their presentation, which will take place on Wednesday, July 19, at 7 p.m. in Piazza Vatluna in Vetulonia with Tuscany Region President Eugenio Giani, Castiglione della Pescaia Mayor Elena Nappi, Chiara Lanari of the Tuscany Region presidency cabinet, MuVet director Simona Rafanelli, Piero Pruneti, editor of Archeologia Viva magazine and TourismA-Salone dell’Archaeology and Cultural Tourism, as well as MANN director Paolo Giulierini, Atelier Igor Mitoraj artistic director Luca Pizzi, docent Graziana Maddalena for the Igor Mitoraj Museum Foundation, and representatives of the Guardia di Finanza Protection Section in Rome. This will be followed by a toast in the square under the patronage of A.I.S.-Associazione Italiana Sommelier Toscana, Grosseto Delegation, and a visit to the exhibition with the guidance of the museum’s archaeologist with free admission until 11 pm.

The exhibition Corpo a corpo will remain open until Nov. 5, 2023 at Muvet, Isidoro Falchi Civic Archaeological Museum of Vetulonia, Vatluna Square, which is part of the Maremma Museum System. It can be visited every day except Mondays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. However, it is not known whether the Corridors will remain until the end of the exhibition or, as happened with the exhibition at the Baths of Diocletian, will leave early.

The MANN Runners...keep on running. They are now on display in Vetulonia
The MANN Runners...keep on running. They are now on display in Vetulonia

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