Rome to restore damaged Bernini lion in Piazza Navona

Mystery solved: Rome superintendency clarifies reason behind damaged lion in Bernini fountain in Piazza Navona.

The reason behind the mysterious damage to Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona, first reported by several Italian cultural websites, has been clarified by the authority in charge with managing and maintaining Rome's historic and archaeological heritage.

The damage relates to the face of the Nile lion belonging to the 17th-century Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi which is missing its lower jaw, together with teeth, tongue and the hair under its chin.

However there was no vandalism involved, clarified the Sovrintendenza Capitolina, which blamed the damage on a metal pin that became detached from the masterpiece by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers

The incident occurred on 18 August, the missing fragments were recovered straight away, and there are plans to undertake the restoration next week.

"The fragments fell apart on 18 August due to the wear of a metal anchor pin and not due to an act of vandalism," said the Sovrintendenza Capitolina on Twitter.

"They were immediately recovered by our technicians and are in the laboratory to be prepared for the re-joining operation scheduled for 13 January."

General Info

Address Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

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Rome to restore damaged Bernini lion in Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma RM, Italy