August 09, 2012

The Getty and the Capitoline Superintendency of Roma Capitale Sign Agreement Creating Framework for Cultural Exhange


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Desiree Zenowich
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Gianni Alemanno, Mayor of Rome (left) and James Cuno, President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust (right). © J. Paul Getty Trust. Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging 

LOS ANGELES—The J. Paul Getty Museum and the Capitoline Superintendency of Roma Capitale signed a bilateral agreement for cultural collaboration today that establishes a general framework for cooperation on conservation and restoration projects, exhibitions, long-term loans, conferences, publications, and other kinds of cultural exchanges.

Among its provisions, the agreement encourages the exchange of scientists and scholars in fields of archaeology, art history, conservation, cultural information technology, and other fields of common interest in research and training.

“We are delighted to sign this mutually beneficial agreement with the Capitoline Superintendency on the same day we unveil the magnificent Lion Attacking a Horse at the Getty Villa,” said James Cuno, President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust. “This is just the first of many remarkable cultural exchanges we will undertake with our colleagues in Rome.”

"This agreement is part of a wider program called ‘The Dream of Rome’ started last year to promote the image of Rome in the United States, which we consider a crucial country for the internationalization of our city. In this scenario we consider the Getty Museum an outstanding partner to achieve this goal. This agreement is the first stone of a long time mutual cooperation,” said Giovanni (Gianni) Alemanno, Mayor of Rome.

This new agreement with Rome’s Capitoline Museums complements cultural partnerships the Getty Museum has with other Italian institutions, including the Sicilian Ministry of Culture and Sicilian Identity and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Florence, for exhibitions and cultural exchanges over the coming years.

Founded in 1471 by Pope Sixtus IV with the donation to the Roman people of the great Lateran bronzes, the Musei Capitolini is the oldest public art museum in the world. It is comprised of two buildings, the Palazzo dei Conservatori and the Palazzo Nuovo, which, together with the Palazzo Senatorio, surround the Piazza del Campidoglio on the Capitoline Hill in Rome.

Lion Attacking a Horse, end of 4th century B.C. Unknown artist. Greek. Marble. Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturali di Roma Capitale - Musei Capitolini.

The first major loan resulting from this new relationship is the magnificent Lion Attacking a Horse, which is presented for the first time outside of Rome, where it has not been on public view since 1925. Beginning August 10, the sculpture is the centerpiece of a special installation at the Getty Villa that traces its history from antiquity to the modern era and showcases recent conservation work undertaken in Rome.

Among the most storied works of art to survive from antiquity, Lion Attacking a Horse was created in the era of Alexander the Great. A trophy of war in imperial Rome, then a symbol of justice in the medieval city, this image of savage animal combat was admired by Michelangelo and inspired generations of artists. On the Capitoline Hill, its presence heralded the Renaissance spirit, laying the foundation for the world’s first public art collection. For many years, the lion-and-horse image served as the emblem of Rome before being replaced by the famous statue of a she-wolf suckling the twins Romulus and Remus.

Lion Attacking a Horse from the Capitoline Museums, Rome is co-organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturali di Roma Capitale—Musei Capitolini. The special installation at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa was realized with the generous support of the Knights of Columbus and the Getty Museum’s Villa Council. The sculpture will return to Rome after its exhibition at the Getty Villa, where it will be placed on display among other masterpieces of classical sculpture at the Capitoline Museums.


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The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations:  the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

The J. Paul Getty Museum collects in seven distinct areas, including Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts, and photographs gathered internationally. The Museum’s mission is to make the collection meaningful and attractive to a broad audience by presenting and interpreting the works of art through educational programs, special exhibitions, publications, conservation, and research.

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