Restoration of "Marforio"
The restoration of Marforio completes the cycle of recovery and conservation of the six talking statues of Rome the Roman people used to entrust satirical messages to. They are traditionally famous for their role as spokesperson for complaints against the established power.
In 2009 the Inhabitants Association of the Historic Center in agreement with the Department of Cultural Policies and the Capitoline Superintendence for Cultural Heritage promoted the restoration interventions of four of them: Pasquino (in the homonymous square behind Piazza Navona), Madama Lucrezia (in Piazza San Marco), Abate Luigi (in Piazza Vidoni), Facchino (in Via Lata). The statue of the Babuino, previously restored in 1988 by the municipal administration, had been cleaned in 2010 by the Superintendency for Cultural Heritage of the Municipality of Rome.
The large statue of Marforio, located in the courtyard of Palazzo Nuovo at the Capitoline Museums, can be dated back to Roman times (end of the republic – the beginning of the empire). Many hypotheses remain open regarding both the identification of the subject - a river? the ocean? - and about the original location.
Already known in the 12th century and copied in Beatricetto's drawings, it now shows itself like “Ocean” which is reflected in the water of the fountain, half-lying and resting on a bed of small rocks, with the sea monster, the dolphins and the shell in his hand.
The restoration work, started in September 2012, concerns both the fountain and the statue of Marforio and the exedra in front of it, and was entirely financed by Swarovski with an economic contribution of 100 thousand euros.
The interventions include:
- the restoration and adaptation of the water and lighting systems of the monumental fountain;
- the recovery of the niche behind it and the related architectural elements in travertine and brick mirrors;
-the cleaning of the statue and other decorative devices of the fountain through consolidation, re-adhesion of fragments, chemical treatments and micro-grouting;
-the reconstruction of the bases of the two dolphins that make up the group, with the removal of the cement casting and the inconsistent grouting resulting from recent interventions that have completely changed its shape and design.