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Bulgari restores sculptures at Rome monument to Italy's first king

Bulgari continues to restore Rome landmarks.

Luxury jeweller Bulgari is to sponsor the restoration of the bronze sculptures and marble statues that decorate the Vittoriano monument in Rome's central Piazza Venezia.


The €240,000 restoration project will be financed entirely by Bulgari through the government's Art Bonus, a tax credit equal to 65 per cent of charitable contributions that individuals or companies make in favour of public cultural heritage.


The restoration concerns the conservation of the sculptures on the main façade of the Vittoriano, with a particular focus on restoring the golden shine of the bronze works.


“These are works of notable artistic, historical and also symbolic value, because they materialise the founding values of our Risorgimento and, at the same time, of our Constitution" - the director of VIVE – Vittoriano and Palazzo Venezia Edith Gabrielli said - "Preserving and enhancing them is our essential duty, especially for new generations."


The restoration project once again underlines the strong links between Bulgari and Rome, the city in which the company was founded in 1844.


The brand has funded several important restorations in Rome in recent years, including the Spanish Steps and the Largo Argentina archaeological site.


Tyrrhenian Sea by Pietro Canonica


“For Bulgari, the Eternal City is not only the place where the brand was born 140 years ago, but also an inexhaustible source of inspiration for all the Maison's creations" - said Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin - "Monuments, buildings, architecture that we observe every day and that we must preserve as a tribute to the history of this wonderful city.”


The project will include the restoration of the marble sculptures representing the Adriatic Sea by Emilio Quadrelli and the Tyrrhenian Sea by Pietro Canonica, and the gilded bronze sculptures symbolising il Pensiero (Thought) by Giulio Monteverde and l'Azione (Action) by Francesco Jerace, among other works.


The project is scheduled from 4 March until September this year, during which time visitors can observe the restoration work up close as well as following progress with updates on the Vittoriano website.


A brief history of the Vittoriano


The colossal monument to the first king of a unified Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II, was designed by Giuseppe Sacconi in 1878 following the monarch's death.


Work began in 1885 and involved the extensive demolition of pre-existing mediaeval and Renaissance buildings on the Capitoline Hill.


After Sacconi died in 1905, the vast construction project was entrusted to a trio of architects: Gaetano Koch, Manfredo Manfredi and Pio Piacentini.


The partly-finished monument was inaugurated on 4 June 1911 to mark the 50th anniversary of Italian unification, however it was not completed until 1935.


The Vittoriano also includes the Altar of the Fatherland which since 1921 has hosted the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, or Milite Ignoto.


The monument plays a central role in official ceremonies on key national dates in Italy including the Festa della Liberazione, Festa della Repubblica and the National Unity and Armed Forces Day.


It also hosts a museum dedicated to the Risorgimento. An extensive history of the Vittoriano, in English, can be found on the VIVE website.


Photos courtesy VIVE - Vittoriano e Palazzo Venezia

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Address Piazza Venezia, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

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Bulgari restores sculptures at Rome monument to Italy's first king

Piazza Venezia, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

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