Italy has been very successful in recovering ancient works of art and crafts illegally exported from the country and has created a museum for them.

The rescued art museum was launched on Wednesday with a spongy structure that is part of the ancient Diocretia baths in Rome.

The Octagonal Hall’s exhibition space will showcase Italy’s efforts to return valuable relics to Italy decades later, often in foreign museums and private collections, through patient diplomacy and court challenges. Designed for.

Terracotta is on display at the new Rescue Museum in Rome (Alessandra Tarantino / AP)

The exhibits in the new museum change every few months as the exhibits return to what experts consider to be their hometown. Many of them were part of the ancient Etruscan or Magna Graecia civilizations in central or southern Italy.

The first exhibition revolves around about 100 of the 260 relics that were recovered from the United States by the Paramilitary Carabinieri Arts Corps and brought back to Italy in December 2021.

Exhibits discovered during secret excavations and illegally exported include finely carved Etruscan figurines and impressive painted vases. Items were previously held by museums, auction houses, and personal collections.

The new Roman Museum is exhibiting objects “previously not seen in Italy,” said Massimo Osanna, director of the Italian State Museum.

Archaeological relics on display in the new museum (Alessandra Tarantino / AP)

In his previous position, Ozanna has long been responsible for reviving the fate of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii near Naples, one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites looted by ancient bandits of past generations. I did.

The recently recovered ancient relics date back to the 8th and 7th centuries BC and date back to the pre-Roman period. Many of them came from areas near modern-day Cerveteri, which are flooded with the remains of the flourishing Etruscan civilization in the Midwestern part of Italy.

One of the most striking works is a ceramic jar, painted red on a white background and over 1 meter high. Decorated with images of horses and cats, it depicts the mythical scene of the blinding Polyphemus, a one-eyed creature that eats humans.

The choice of jar decoration probably indicates that the Etruscan elite was bilingual and “fascinated by Greek mythology,” Osanna said. He added that they were “Etruscan heroes equated with Greek heroes.”

The exhibition is held in the octagonal hall of the ancient Diocletia baths (Alessandra Tarantino / AP)

Dario Franceschini, Minister of Cultural Heritage of Italy, explained the decision to choose a series of revolving exhibits at the new museum instead of establishing a permanent collection of rescued art.

“We thought it was right to put the debris back where it was stolen,” Francescani said.

In some cases, experts do not know the exact original location of ancient times, emphasizing the irreparable damage done when archaeological treasures were secretly stolen. Works of unknown origin are returned to the general geographic area.

The exhibition space is part of the National Roman Museum. The current exhibition will continue until October 15, after which the museum will display another batch of recovered ancient relics.

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