Beginning April 15 and running through mid-June, a new major exhibition in Rome celebrates the Etruscan history of Italy through many ancient artifacts that have been rarely seen on public display before, if ever.
The exhibition is being held at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni and was developed in coordination with the Musée du Louvre-Lens, the recent addition to the Louvre family of museums which was specifically designed and developed to display more of the Louvre’s massive collection of art.
Instead of focusing on the entire history of the Etruscans, the exhibition narrows in on a single Etruscan city: Cerveteri.
Called Kaisraie by the Etruscans, the city was extremely significant in the Mediterranean region and is described as being emblematic of the Etruscan civilization.
The ancient city was located only 50 kilometers from Rome, so the setting of the exhibition is appropriate.
The exhibit covers ten centuries of Cerveteri’s history, aiming to explain how the distinct community formed and how it became such a significant city during the time of the Etruscans.
Archeological excavations carried out in the nineteenth century revealed much of the city’s past courtesy of its artifacts, and it is those items that will be on display to demonstrate the history of the city.
The exhibit displays important artifacts from the Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia and the Museo Nazionale di Cerveteri, but also incorporates a significant number of artifacts courtesy of the Louvre museum that shed additional light on the city.
One significant item on display is the Sarcophagus of the Spouses, on display for the first time outside of Paris since it became part of the collection of the Louvre.
This exhibition is not only an important look at a significant part of Italian history but also a telling demonstration of the future of art in Europe.
Rarely does the Louvre loan out major portions of its collection, but recently the museum has refocused and has committed to displaying more of the art that it cannot possibly house within the walls of its original museum setting.
For Italians, this plays out into an incredible opportunity to take a historical look at a city that to the Etruscans had the significance of Athens and Rome.