Casa di Goethe celebrates expansion in Rome

Rome's recently-expanded Casa di Goethe was inaugurated by Germany’s culture minister Bernd Neumann and his Italian counterpart Lorenzo Ornaghi on 20 September.

The 250 sqm addition – the equivalent of about half the previous space – was acquired by the museum in 2009 with the financial assistance of the German government and state cultural associations.

Situated above its existing premises on Via del Corso 18, the new upstairs area is something of a reunion as it was in these very rooms that the original Goethe Museum Rom was housed between 1973 and 1982.

The expansion provides adequate space for the museum’s extensive library to be held under the one roof, as until now its collection was scattered among various institutions and not accessible to the public. There is space for seminars, workshops and courses, as well as an apartment that will be made available to visiting scholars.

To celebrate its enlarged premises the Casa di Goethe is holding a series of events. Over the weekend of 22-23 September, visitors can enjoy the newly-inaugurated exhibition Goethe's Italian Drawings for free, from 10.00-20.00. On Saturday there are guided tours of the exhibition at 10.00 and 18.00, while at 20.00 actors Massimiliano Vado and Alex Pascoli read from Goethe's Italian Journey.

On Sunday there are guided tours at 10.00, 13.30 and 18.00, interspersed with musical interludes by an Italian-German duo of cellists at 11.00 and 12.30. Sara Gentile and Maximilian von Pfeil present their concert Hausmusik, performing works by Carl Siegmund Schönebeck, Giovanni Sollima, Gioacchino Rossini, Julius Klengel and Jean-Baptiste Barrière.

The exhibition, which runs until 6 December, includes 51 original drawings by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe never seen by the public before. Goethe was a prolific artist and left over 2,600 drawings, hundreds of which relate to Italy.

The museum, which was founded in 1997 and is the world's only German foreign-based museum, is housed in the building in which Goethe stayed during his Roman sojourn from 1786 to 1788, together with Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein and other German artists.

Casa di Goethe, Via del Corso 18, tel. 0632650412. 10.00-18.00. Mon closed.

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