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In one month more than 10,000 people have visited The recovery of classical antiquity in Andalusia

December 26, 2008

Hercules, Hadrian, Venus, Julius Caesar… mythical figures, gods and great emperors all come together at the headquarters of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation in the old Hospital de los Venerables in the exhibition entitled The Recovery of Classical Antiquity in Andalusia, an exceptional display of the legacy of Roman culture in Andalusia through the centuries.

More than 10,000 people have already visited the Foundation’s headquarters to discover the master works of Roman culture found in Roman Andalusia, the most prosperous province in the empire. The exhibition was opened on 24 November by the president of the regional government of Andalusia, Manuel Chaves, and the Minister of Culture, Cesar Antonio Molina, and will remain open until 28 February.

The Recovery of Classical Antiquity in Andalusia brings together some 150 works from the most important museums in Spain (Prado Museum, National Heritage Museum, National Archaeological Museum and nearly every museum in Andalusia) and abroad, as well as works from private institutions and collections that have never been displayed to the public before. This is the first time that the most representative pieces of the Roman legacy found in Andalusia have been exhibited together. They include pieces such as the Venus de Itálica (Venus of Ancient Italy; 2nd century A.D), rescued by chance in 1940 from the ruins of ancient Italy, or the Efebo de Antequera (Ephebe of Antiquity; 1st century A.D), the best preserved bronze statue in Europe.

The more than 100 Roman pieces are joined by pictures, busts and portraits of the historians, archaeologists and collectors of Roman art that made this “recovery” possible and that preserved these Roman archaeological treasures from the 16th century through to today. Scholars such as Benito Arias Montano or the emperor Charles V; eminent collectors such as Sebastián Martínez from Cádiz; Hispanists inspired by Andalusia, such as Archer Milton Huntington, founder of the Hispanic Society of America; or the Britain George Bonsor, discoverer of the Carmona necropolis.

Among these exceptional works are pieces such as the Relieve de la Batalla de Actium (Relief of the Battle of Actium) from the Duques de Cardona collection; the Musa Urania Loring (Urania Loring Muse), the Relieve de Carteia (Relief of Carteia) or the Dea Roma, as well as portraits of Sebastián Martínez by Francisco de Goya; or of Arias Montano by Pedro Pablo Rubens.

The Recovery of Roman Andalusia, an unprecedented project in Spain

The Recovery of Classical Antiquity in Andalusia exhibition is the first initiative in a larger scientific and cultural project that is unprecedented in Spain, which is being carried out by the Focus–Abengoa Foundation entitled “ The Recovery of Roman Andalusia” and which also involves:

  • From the Land to the Sun , an archaeological and landscape research project in the area around the Solúcar solar platform in Sanlúcar la Mayor. It is a long term program based on the study and research of the archaeological deposits in the area using cutting edge exploratory techniques.
  • Publication of the Art of Roman Andalusia trilogy (2008-2010). This is an extensive study of the art of Roman Andalusia directed by Pilar León, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Seville. The importance of this trilogy means that it is likely to become an essential reference work for researchers and students of archaeology and Roman art.

The Hospital de los Venerables, the headquarters of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, is open every day from 10.00 to 14.00 and from 16.00 to 20.00.


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