Rome to reveal hidden Torlonia Collection of Roman treasures

Rome to display world's most important private collection of ancient art.

The legendary Torlonia Collection, considered by many as the world's most important private collection of ancient marble sculptures, will at long last go on public display in Rome next year.

Palazzo Caffarelli at the city's Capitoline Museums will display 96 pieces from the priceless collection of 620 ancient sculptures in the exhibition The Torlonia Marbles: Collecting Masterpieces, from 25 March 2020 until 10 January 2021.

The revered "collection of collections", which comprises marble, bronze and alabaster statues, busts, bas-reliefs and sarcophagi dating to the ancient Roman era - amassed between the 15th- and 19th centuries - will come to light after being largely hidden away for 70 years.

A small part of the Torlonia Collection. Photo L. De Masi.

The former Museo Torlonia opened in 1875 on Via della Lungara in Rome's Trastevere quarter, however in the post-war period access to the palace's 77 rooms was granted only occasionally to experts or visiting dignitaries.

In 1976 the museum closed definitively, to make way for luxury apartments, and the priceless collection was moved to the basement of another private Roman palace owned by the aristocratic Torlonia family.

For more than four decades the collection has been kept in storage, despite attempts by successive governments to persuade the noble family to either sell or display the works in public.

Bvlgari has financed the restoration of the Torlonia Collection. Photo Corriere della Sera.

Now, thanks to several years of talks between Italy's culture minister Dario Franceschini and the Torlonia Foundation - the organisation that administers the family’s assets - some of the collection's most important marble and alabaster works will go on public display in Italy, before travelling abroad.

The works have been restored in a project financed by luxury jeweller Bvlgari, and there are plans in place to find a venue in Rome in which to display the collection to the public on a permanent basis.

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Address Piazza del Campidoglio, 1, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

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Rome to reveal hidden Torlonia Collection of Roman treasures

Piazza del Campidoglio, 1, 00186 Roma RM, Italy