Rome opens its doors to some of its greatest treasures

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Hidden behind high walls, away from prying eyes and movement Rome, the Villa Albani carefully keeps some of the most impressive statues of the Roman and Hellenistic periods and other works of art.

Even many Romans have no idea about the existence of the 18th century villa, which is considered by tourist guides to be one of its biggest… secrets. “Eternal City”. Few and select visitors get permission to enter inside and can admire the impressive fountains, tree lines, statues and much more.

However, now, family members Torlonia – the noble owners of the villa – who are proud to own the largest private collection of classical art, publish a book with about 300 photos from Villa Albani together with an academic guide in order to explain to the reader the origin of each work of art he observes.

“This effort is a step by the Torlonia family to enrich the available information about these treasures,” he said. Salvatore Setis, an art historian who worked on the project of publishing the book and the guide. It describes how the Villa Albani was built in the middle of the 18th century by Cardinal Alessandro Albani to house his vast collection of ancient artifacts, which, in fact, had just come to light at that time after excavations in Rome.

After his death Albania in 1779, the villa was sold and in 1866 bought by the family Torlonia, who were then his bankers Vatican. Some members of the family now live in other areas so that the villa has space alone for art collection.

Last year Torlonia agreed to have a report on Museums of the Capitol in Rome which would contain about 100 statues and other objects that were part of a collection of 623 pieces kept in a warehouse on its shores Tiber for decades after World War II. Their collection in Villa Albani contains 1,100 objects which are presented in the way they were originally placed by Cardinal Albani three centuries ago.

THE Alessandro Poma Murialdo, a member of the family, said that the number of visitors is limited as they thus contribute to the preservation of valuables. “In no case do we want to put a ticket office for tickets”, he stressed and added: “to keep this mystery, to keep it a bit secret or less known is also something beautiful”.

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