Thursday, February 22, 2024

The Ara Pacis and local Roman politics

 The Ara Pacis seems to be the target of local Roman politicians who apparently don't appreciate the structure that was erected around it. The article points out that the Ara Pacis was not originally located at its current location but moved there by Mussolini in 1938. Gemini points out that it wasn't just a simple relocation, however.

"Original Location: The Ara Pacis wasn't moved directly from its original location to its current one. Its initial site was in the northeastern corner of the Campus Martius, a large open space in ancient Rome near the Tiber River. This area was roughly north of the current Piazza del Popolo and west of the Mausoleum of Augustus.
"Gradual Burial and Rediscovery: Over time, sediment deposits from the Tiber gradually buried the Ara Pacis. It wasn't until the 16th and 19th centuries that fragments of the monument were rediscovered in various locations around the Campus Martius.
"Reconstruction and Modern Location: In the early 20th century, extensive excavations uncovered more substantial portions of the Ara Pacis. Mussolini then commissioned the reconstruction and reassembly of the monument in a new, purpose-built pavilion designed by architect Vittorio Ballio Morpurgo. This pavilion, near the Mausoleum of Augustus and the Lungotevere in Augusta, is where the Ara Pacis stands today.
"Therefore, it wasn't a simple case of moving from point A to point B. The Ara Pacis was originally located in the Campus Martius, gradually buried over centuries, rediscovered in fragments, and then reconstructed in its current location."
Image: The Ara Pacis with its current enclosure courtesy of Wikimedia Commons contributor Rabax63

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