Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Free the Ara Pacis!

The new mayor of Rome is gunning for the mod-box museum that currently houses the Ara Pacis (pictures) of Augustus:

Gianni Alemanno, a member of the “post-Fascist” Alleanza Nazionale who overturned decades of centre-Left rule in a run-off election on Sunday and Monday, said bluntly that “Meier’s building is a construction to be scrapped”. He added that this was not his” top priority”, leaving the timing of the demolition unclear.

He said the building, sited next to the ruins of the mausoleum of the Emperor Augustus, was “invasive”, a “disfigurement in the heart of Rome” and “an act of intellectual arrogance against the citizens of Rome”. The Ara Pacis, or Altar of Peace, was commissioned by Augustus in 13AD to commemorate his military conquests of Gaul and Spain and the ensuing period of peace, and was previously protected by a Fascist-era structure.

I have walked by the museum once, but I never went in, which I of course regret. The building wasn't egregiously bad, to my eye, but it wasn't Roman. No matter: Zadok the Roman is positive that nothing will happen.

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