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THE ART OF COPYING - Watercolours of Etruscan tomb paintings from the turn of the century 1900

Exhibition of a selection of watercolours from the Morani Collection of The Swedish Institute of Classical Studies in Rome.

Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm
2 February - 2 June 2019

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The Swedish Institute in Rome is a research institute, subordinate to the Swedish Ministry of Education (Utbildningsdepartementet). It is the base for excavations and other scientific research in Italy and pursues academic instruction in archaeology and art sciences as well as arranging conferences with themes of interest to the institute. The Institute has at its disposal a building in central Rome with a relatively well-supplied library, archaeological laboratory and c. twenty rooms and smaller apartments for the use of visiting researchers and holders of scholarships.
The board of directors and the chancellery have their seat in Stockholm, the chancellery being also responsible for the Swedish Institute in Athens and the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul. The latest statute was stipulated in 1993. The San Michele foundation on Capri is also subordinate to the institute’s board of directors. The daily activities of the institute are led by a director. The institute’s premises in Rome include a library, archaeological laboratory and rooms for researchers. There is a supportive society (Föreningen Rominstitutets Vänner) with five sections in Sweden.

The Republican Forum Romanum

Henrik Gerding, Nicolò Dell’Unto

The Forum Romanum constituted the religious, political, economic and administrative centre of Rome for more than a millennium. During this time it went through several changes. It transformed from a liminal zone in the periphery of the Iron Age settlements into a communal space and sacred ground; later into an arena for political struggle and civic ambition; and finally into a showcase for Imperial power and authority. New buildings were constantly being added and old ones rebuilt or replaced. This project deals with the architectural and spatial development of the Republican Forum Romanum. Of particular interest is the spatial configuration of the central Forum area in the mid- and late Republican periods. Thus, in a way, the study connects to the very first archaeological excavation in the Forum Romanum, conducted by the Swedish diplomat Carl Fredrik Fredenheim in 1788–89.

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News from The Swedish Pompeii Project

The Swedish Pompeii Project at Lund University in collaboration with The Swedish Institute in Rome has produced a new 3D-film on the house of Caecilius Iucundus in the Insula V,1 at Pompeii. By combining traditional archaeology with 3D technology, researchers at Lund University in Sweden have managed to reconstruct a house in Pompeii to its original state before the volcano eruption of Mount Vesuvius thousands of years ago. Unique video material has now been produced, showing their creation of a 3D model of an entire block of houses. 

After the catastrophic earthquake in Italy in 1980, the Pompeii city curator invited the international research community to help document the ruin city, before the state of the finds from the volcano eruption in AD 79 would deteriorate even further. The Swedish Pompeii Project was therefore started at the Swedish Institute in Rome in 2000. The researcher in charge of the rescue operation was Anne-Marie Leander Touati, at the time director of the Institute, now Professor of Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at Lund University.

Since 2010, the research has been managed by the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History in Lund. The project now also includes a new branch of advanced digital archaeology, with 3D models demonstrating the completed photo documentation. The city district was scanned during the field work in 2011–2012 and the first 3D models of the ruin city have now been completed. The models show what life was like for the people of Pompeii before the volcano eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The researchers have even managed to complete a detailed reconstruction of a large house, belonging to the wealthy man Caecilius Iucundus.

The work has been generously financed by Stiftelsen Marcus och Amalia Wallenbergs minnesfond and Familjen Rausings Stiftelse (Fondazione Famiglia Rausing).

To see the film, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETd7pszxhnc

For more information on the Swedish Pompeii project: http://www.pompejiprojektet.se/

Seminars at the Institute

Seminar 2019: II
Tuesday 22 January 17.00

Gaius SternUniversity of California at Berkeley (retired)
Correcting the Reconstruction and Some Interpretations of the Ara Pacis

Modern students and scholars sometimes forget the Ara Pacis looked somewhat different in the year 1 than it does today.  Despite his best efforts, Giuseppe Moretti, building upon the work of Eugen Petersen, was able to reconstruct only an approximation of the Ara Pacis, unveiled to the public on 30 January 9 BC.  Missing material made it impossible to fill in certain gaps, and in a few places, Moretti deliberately or accidentally hid the loss of characters with an illusion of completion.  The combination of the missing pieces and the slightly flawed reconstruction have misled scholars, whose interpretations, in turn, deviated from the Roman vision of a New Golden Age, especially if they imagined they were looking at a perfect reconstruction of a great piece of imperial propaganda.  The result resembles a performance of a bad translation of a Shakespeare play.  The elegance of a great work of art is partly lost.   However, it is possible to correct some of these approximations and thereby get closer to the Augustan (and Senatorial) vision for the future, even though that future never took place as planned, for the death of Agrippa upended the stability of the regime and set in motion more than one crisis.

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