The saga of moving the Riace Bronzes.

We host a guest post discussing the issue of moving the Riace Bronzes ahead of Expo 2015.

We are hosting today a guest post written by Vincenzo Romano about the troubled affair on the Riace Bronzes at the Expo. The author of the guest post has a degree in marketing and communications and divides his time between work and his great passion, travel. He describes himself as an inordinate lover of art and weekend getaways to European capitai. Happy reading!

The Riace Bronzes have been the protagonists of this summer given the discussion about whether or not to bring them to theExpo, a discussion animated by Vittorio Sgarbi, who while never abandoning his verve and explosive comments seemed to have set aside the sensitivity that an art expert should have. In fact, moving the Bronzes to theEXPO certainly would have ensured greater visibility for these beautiful works of art, but as stated by the Calabrian Superintendent Simonetta Bonomi From all the reports of the Higher Institute for Conservation and Restoration made after the restoration campaigns of recent years, the structural fragility of the Riace Bronzes emerges in great evidence. In short, you can’t because if they break, it’s not like we can get them rebuilt.

Riace Bronzes
The Riace Bronzes. Photo Credit

Yet Sgarbi insisted and reacted with a huff when Prime Minister Renzi put an end to the issue by saying that the Bronzes would not be moved (thus contradicting the wishes of Minister Franceschini, who was among those in favor of moving them). Unfortunately, however, at the root of the problem is not just Professor Sgarbi’s desire for the spotlight, always ready to raise his voice, but a chronic Italian problem: that of not knowing how to value itself. In short, Italy from an artistic, archaeological, cultural and tourist point of view is like a beautiful, charismatic and charming woman who voluntarily prostitutes herself on the streets for pennies due to lack of initiative.

We are at the end of our rope, and in order to enhance priceless works like the Bronzes, old, dangerous, senseless solutions are being thought of because they distort the work from its context and have no effect on the dorigin and discovery territories, which nevertheless become part of the work itself. The last few months have been really sad for Italy’s cultural and artistic heritage, as we have heard certain laws and certain absolutely unhealthy proposals that try to arrange in a good way a phantom link between business and art with the possible private management of Museums that risks turning them into kitch bazaars where real beauty rots in deposits. All this wondering how to enhance a unique heritage in the world and the only solutions found are palliative cures that serve the interests of the few? When there would be so much to do starting with communication.

A cause to which even prominent individuals could contribute. For example, Sgarbi, rather than getting angry with Renzi because he does not want to move the Bronzes, should instead use his authority and fame to speak well of Italy and Calabria (in this case) and not only of the works they contain that a little like furniture he would like to move in case of need by making scorched earth around them. A duty that should feel many influential people who do not always lend their name for the Belpaese. There are a few exceptions among the important names who speak well ofItaly in the world and who also at home do something for the mistreated beauties: such as the entrepreneur Francesco Corallo, who while often being abroad often speaks about Italian art on his official website, or as he does in different ways, the great dorchestra conductor Riccardo Muti who often launches initiatives in Calabria such as the August concert in the archaeological park of Scolacium.

Meanwhile, the story of the Bronzes goes on: from Reggio Calabria we are told that in August 40,000 people went to the museum that houses the Riace Bronzes, quite a number if Sgarbi was talking about a few thousand visitors a year, while these 40,000 are added to the 16,000 in July, surpassing in two months by far the few thousand (Philippe Daverio, another supporter of the move, said that in Reggio the Bronzes were seen by 30,000 people a year). It may have been all this media attention, but it is good that more people went to see the Bronzes and fewer went to hear Sgarbi.

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