In Brescia to see the Winged Victory, one of the most extraordinary Roman sculptures

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Take a good look at it: it’s beautiful, isn’t it? Live – we assure you – even more. So, if you live in Lombardy, take the time to look there in the eye Winged Victory, one of the most extraordinary sculptures of the Roman era, and go to Brixia, the Archaeological Park of Roman Brescia (which has just opened and will have free admission until the 26th of the month, with a guided tour included).

The Winged Victory has returned home after two years of restoration, a painstaking work conducted byOpificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence. So welcome back, Warrior Aphrodite, with a composed and firm beauty yet so refined and delicate: it seems that she dances, with those suspended hands, her well-groomed hairstyle, her wings to tell us that she is an otherworldly being.

Symbol of strength, power, victory but not at all bold: of Mars it has the power, of Venus the grace. Rugge, a bit like the city of Brescia, which has always been tireless, and enchants: it has seduced hundreds of men (Carducci dedicated the ode to Victory to her, D’Annunzio ate it with his eyes, Napoleon III even wanted one copy) and women (since the nineteenth century the cultured noblewomen who crossed the Alps for their Grand Tour in the BelPaese wanted to go to Brescia to see this masterpiece in person).

In our eyes it is beautiful and inspiring, but for experts it is something more: it is in fact one of the most important works of Roman times for composition, material and conservation and is one of the very rare Roman bronzes coming from excavations that has come down to today.

A jewel within a jewel, it must be said.

The Winged Victory in fact enhances the suggestive Capitolium of the Brixia Archaeological Park, ancient Brescia, precious testimony of the Roman presence also in Northern Italy: the place is suggestive to visit in every season (and if you can stop in the evening, the lighting multiplies the effect). You go up towards the Capitoline Temple, looking at the hills that embrace the city, you walk among the ancient columns and then you enter: here, the famous Spanish architect Juan Navarro Baldweg has designed a refined and calibrated installation in which the visitor enters into dialogue with the Winged Victory (lor you can admire in the photos of the gallery above).

She, our spectacular Vittoria, has returned to shine after a difficult past. We know in fact that it was found in Brescia in 1826 together with other imperial age heads during excavations in the area of ​​the forum. And we also know its age: it dates back to the middle of the first century after Christ and right from the start it is “adopted” by the city as an auspicious symbol.

A symbol to protect, so much so that it will be hidden in the period between the two wars, in the intersections of the Capitolium, and found there again, almost by chance. A sign? Now it is “reborn” a third time thanks to a restoration operation that has few precedents thanks to the commitment of the municipality of Brescia and the Brescia Museums Foundation: the city celebrates with a series of initiatives and artistic projects, some already completed (such as the work of Emilio Isgrò in the subway: you can also find this in the gallery) and others that will mark the months to come.

And if you live outside Lombardy or are too far to reach Brescia these days, don’t miss the special Winged Victory The return of a symbol (your SkyArte, next February 15th, at 8.25pm): the documentary, edited by Francesca Priori, directed by Davide Rinaldi and produced by Roundabout, lasts just under half an hour but hypnotizes.
It is the actress Sonia Bergamasco who takes us on this journey into the ancient Roman photo to get to know the Winged Victory up close, revealed in its finest details (which emerged thanks to the restoration) and in its troubled history of discovery and rediscovery.
More than a documentary, it is a tête-à-tête, a close and intense dialogue between two women on universal themes. Bergamasco investigates the genesis of the statue and its fortune and seeks answers that are valid for us too today: where does the real strength lie? What are the victories worth celebrating? In a Brescia bent but not broken by the pandemic, the return of the ancient Vittoria Alata is moving, and gives confidence.

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