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After an act of 'so-called' restoration akin to the horrors of 'Ecce Homo' - a mural depicting Christ with a crown of thorns, became an internet sensation when it was disfigured by Seniora Gimenez, while she attempted to restore it. The 120-year-old fresco had been transformed into something which resembled a character from "Planet of the Apes" - according to Turkish media, the country's culture ministry is investigating reports that a number of valuable Roman mosaics were badly damaged during botched restoration at an archaeological museum.

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Monday, 14 July 2014 09:39

The Met Acquires Rare Roman Urn

An important, elaborately carved Roman urn of the first-early second century A.D.—one of the finest porphyry vessels to have survived from classical antiquity—has been acquired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

The acquisition was made possible in part thanks to a challenge grant from Metropolitan Museum Trustee Mary Jaharis.

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Museum, stated: “This rare and beautiful vase is a superb example of classical craftsmanship at its best. The public will now have the extraordinary opportunity to see it within the context of other Hellenistic and Roman works in various media, and especially other sculptures made of porphyry, in the collection of the Museum’s Department of Greek and Roman Art, one of the major repositories of classical art in North America.”

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The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, announced that it will renovate its Hackerman House, one of five buildings on the institution’s campus. The 19th-century mansion, which houses the Walters’ Asian art collection, will close on July 1 so that its fire safety and mechanical systems can be updated. In addition, the building’s galleries will be refurbished and the exterior will be repaired. The project is expected to take approximately 18 months to complete.

Art normally displayed in the Hackerman House’s galleries will mostly be moved to storage during the renovations while a select few pieces will go on view in other areas of the museum. In addition to some private fundraising, the $5.2 million project is being financed by the city and state.

Founded by William Thompson Walters and his son, Henry Walters, the Walters Art Museum is renowned for its Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ethiopian, and Western medieval art collections as well as its holdings of Renaissance and Asian art. The Walters also has an impressive collection of illuminated manuscripts and rare books.

Published in News
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 17:46

Archaeologists Discover Rare Roman Eagle in London

A rare Roman eagle in astoundingly good condition was recently discovered in London by archaeologists. The work is being called one of the best pieces of Romano-British art ever found. The sculpture, which depicts an eagle with a writhing snake in its beak, is made of Cotswold limestone and dates back to the late 1st century or 2nd century AD. The figure was found six weeks ago, encased in mud at the bottom of a ditch during a 10-day excavation of a former Roman cemetery.

Scholars are anxious to research the work, which will be on display at the Museum of London for the next six months. The only comparable discovery in London is a severely damaged bird found at a Roman villa site in Somerset in the 1920s.

Experts believe that the recently discovered sculpture would have been commissioned for the tomb of a wealthy or commanding Roman.  

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The renovated Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Art opened to the public yesterday. The inaugural exhibition, Gods and Glamour, features 150 loans from both private collections and public institution as well as pieces from the museum’s collection. Objects such as marble sculptures, paintings, Greek pottery, jewelry, and silver come together to illustrate what life in the ancient and medieval Mediterranean world was like. A second inaugural exhibition of late Roman and early Byzantine art loaned by the British Museum is also on view through August 25, 2013.

Designed by the architectural firm, Why, the $10 million renovation was made possible by a gift from the Jaharis Family Foundation with some funds going to acquisitions and educational programs. The new 13,707 square-foot galleries include state-of-the-art display cases by Goppian Museum Workshop in Milan.

The updated Greek, Roman, and Byzantine galleries represent the final phase of the complete reinstallation of the Institute, which began in 2008 after the then new modern wing was constructed.

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After twenty-two years, Nicholas Capasso will be leaving his post at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA. Capasso, who is currently the deCordova’s deputy director for Curatorial Affairs, has been named the new director of the Fitchburg Art Museum and will start his latest venture on December 3.

During his time at the deCordova, Capasso has overseen a permanent collection that included 3,500 objects, changing gallery exhibitions, and an outdoor sculpture park. He helped to bring recognition to the institution and to reposition it as an important contemporary museum.

While Capasso specializes in contemporary art, he is eager to work with the Fitchburg Art Museum’s collection that spans more than 5,000 years and includes American and European paintings, prints, drawings, ceramics, decorative arts, and Greek, Roman, Asian, and pre-Columbian antiquities. The Museum’s collection, which is housed between twelve galleries, includes works by William Zorach, John Singleton Copley, Joseph Stella, Edward Hopper, Charles Burchfield, Charles Sheeler, Walker Evans, and Georgia O’Keeffe.

Capasso will take over the role of director from the soon-to-be-retired Peter Timms who has held the position since 1973.

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Over the last five years, the Cleveland Museum of Art has been at work on one of the largest building programs of any art institution in the country, a $350 million project that has been unveiled in sleek new stages and will be completed by 2013, adding 35,000 more square feet of gallery space.

But the museum has also been building in less visible ways and is set to announce on Monday the acquisition of two high-profile ancient artifacts that seem certain to draw attention not only to the institution’s expansion but also to the complicated long-running debate about antiquities collecting by museums.

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