Centrale Montemartini (Rome, Italy)

Centrale Montemartini is an ancient sculpture museum in Rome, located on the Via Ostiense, just outside the Aurelian walls. Set in a former power plant, Centrale Montemartini displays Greek and Roman statues, busts and friezes. It is an annexe of the Capitoline Museums.

Centrale Montemartini was Rome’s first electrical power station when it opened in 1912 and was later converted into a museum of ancient art in the late 1990s. Like the Tate Modern in London, Centrale Montemartini places art in an industrial setting but, unlike the Tate, the imposing machinery has not been moved out. The engines’ grey mass provides a stark contrast to the white marble and offers a unique backdrop for classical art.

The entrance to Centrale Montermartini.

Centrale Montemartini has a collection of about four hundred sculptures, reliefs and mosaics dating from the Republican to the late Imperial era. The works of art, exhibited in chronological order, are part of an outstanding collection of classical sculptures from the excavations carried out in Rome between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. The masterpieces were moved here during the reorganisation of the Capitoline Museums in 1997 to create space in the Palazzo dei Conservatori and the Museo Nuovo. The Montemartini power plant’s outstanding space made it possible to display monumental sculptures and reconstructions of architectural structures, such as the pediment of the Temple of Apollo Sosianus and the huge mosaic of hunting scenes from Santa Bibiana.

Statue of Aphrodite, replica of the Aphrodite carved by Kallimachos at the end of the 5th century BC, from the Esquiline Hill.
Statue of Aphrodite, replica of the Aphrodite carved by Kallimachos at the end of the 5th century BC, from the Esquiline Hill.

Centrale Montemartini is one of Rome’s most striking exhibition spaces and offers a unique museum experience.

selected masterpieces

The Column Room: displays a rich collection from the Republican era. Exhibited in this room are architectural decorations, a group of sculptures in Peperino tufa (a grey volcanic stone from the Albani Hills), beautiful mosaics with seascape and a series of portraits dating to the 1st century BC.

Architectural decorations from the Republican era and sculptures in Peperino tufa.
Architectural decorations from the Republican era and sculptures in Peperino tufa.
Statue of Orpheus charming the animals in Peperino marble, 2nd century BC, from the Via Tiburtina.
Statue of Orpheus charming the animals in Peperino marble, 2nd century BC, from the Via Tiburtina.
Funerary relief with six figures, from the ramparts of the Porta Flaminia, 1st century BC.
Funerary relief with six figures, from the ramparts of the Porta Flaminia, 1st century BC.
Mosaic depicting a labyrinth surrounded by city walls with towers, 100-80 BC, from Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, excavation of a Republican Domus.
Mosaic depicting a labyrinth surrounded by city walls with towers, 100-80 BC, from Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, excavation of a Republican Domus.

The Engine Room: the largest and most impressive room displaying a series of exquisite marble statues and rare Greek originals, arranged around two huge diesel engines and a steam turbine. Occupying the other end of the room is a reconstruction of the pediment of the Temple of Apollo Sosiano, a temple dedicated to Apollo in the Campus Martius.

The Engine Room.
The Engine Room.
The Engine Room.
The Engine Room.
The Engine Room, Imperial portraits and Roman copies of Greek originals.
The Engine Room, Imperial portraits and Roman copies of Greek originals.
Part of a statue of Antinous depicted as Apollo, 130-138 AD, from the Via dei Fori Imperiali.
Part of a statue of Antinous depicted as Apollo, 130-138 AD, from the Via dei Fori Imperiali.
The Engine Room.
The Engine Room.
The reconstructed pediment of the Temple of Apollo Sosianus with sculptures narrating the battle between the Greeks and the Amazons.
The reconstructed pediment of the Temple of Apollo Sosianus with sculptures narrating the battle between the Greeks and the Amazons.
The reconstructed pediment of the Temple of Apollo Sosianus with sculptures narrating the battle between the Greeks and the Amazons, the sculptures are Greek originals (c. 450 - 425 BC) brought to Rome in the Augustan period.
The reconstructed pediment of the Temple of Apollo Sosianus with sculptures narrating the battle between the Greeks and the Amazons. The sculptures are Greek originals (c. 450 – 425 BC) brought to Rome in the Augustan period.
Frieze from the College of the Fabri Tignarii showing a work scene in a carpenter's shop, Flavian Age, from the slopes of the Capitoline Hill.
Frieze from the College of the Fabri Tignarii showing a work scene in a carpenter’s shop, Flavian Age, from the slopes of the Capitoline Hill.
Colossal head of Fortuna Huiusce Diei, from an acrolith statue with uncovered parts in marble and the drapes in bronze, it was meant to be 8m high and dates back to 101 BC, from the sacred area in Largo Argentina.
Colossal head of Fortuna Huiusce Diei, from an acrolith statue with uncovered parts in marble and the drapes in bronze, it was meant to be 8m high and dates back to 101 BC, from the sacred area in Largo Argentina.

The Boiler Room: named after the huge steam boiler dominating the room, this room is home to a number of beautiful statues and decorative sculptures that once adorned the gardens of sumptuous imperial residences (Horti Sallustiani, Horti Liciniani, Horti Lamiani, Horti Caesaris). Funerary monuments from the Ostiense Necropolis are also on display in this room.

The Boiler Room.
The Boiler Room.
Statue of one of Niobe's sons who were killed by Artemis and Apollo, Roman copy after an early Hellenistic statue belonging to a sculptural group, from the Horti of Caesar in Trastevere.
Statue of one of Niobe’s sons who were killed by Artemis and Apollo, Roman copy after an early Hellenistic statue belonging to a sculptural group, from the Horti of Caesar in Trastevere.
Mosaic with hunting scenes, from the Horti Liciniani, early 4th century AD.
Mosaic with hunting scenes, from the Horti Liciniani, early 4th century AD.
The Boiler Room.
The Boiler Room.

Opening hours:
Tuesday-Sunday: 9.00 – 19.00;
24 and 31 December: 9.00 – 14.00;
Last admission 1/2 hour before closing time.

Regular Fees:
Adults € 7,50
Concessions € 6,50
Roman Citizens only (by showing a valid ID):
Adults € 6,50
Concessions € 5,50

Capitolini Card (Capitoline Museums + Centrale Montemartini – valid 7 days)
Adults € 16,00
Concessions € 14,00
Roman Citizens only (by showing a valid ID): 
Adults € 15,00
Concessions € 13,00

Website: http://en.centralemontemartini.org/

 

Louvre-Lens (France)

The Louvre-Lens is an art museum located in Lens at the heart of a coal mining area, approximately 200 kilometres north of Paris. It displays objects borrowed from the collections of the Musée du Louvre on a medium or long-term basis.

Its collections are displayed in a contemporary building designed by the Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA, a multiple award-winning architectural firm based in Tokyo. Officially opened on the 4th December 2012, the museum now enjoys international acclaim as a unique must-see attraction.

The Galerie du Temps (Gallery of Time), the main exhibition space and the heart of the Louvre-Lens, houses a selection of masterpieces arranged chronologically, starting with the birth of writing in 3500 BC and finishing with the year 1850. Each year, some art pieces return to the Louvre in Paris and are replaced by others.

The 200 works originate from the Middle East, Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Islamic world and Europe. The Galerie du Temps is a wide open hall (125m long and 25m wide) where the objects are placed in the centre of the room in order to create a full 360° dialogue between them.

 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ANTIQUE COLLECTION

Pre-cuneiform writing tablet noting food ratios, Archives from the Temple of the Sky God, from Uruk (Irak), Late Uruk Period, around 3300 BC, Louvre Lens
Pre-cuneiform writing tablet noting food ratios. Archives from the Temple of the Sky God
From Uruk (Irak)
Late Uruk Period, around 3300 BC.
The first documents written on clay tablets appeared in Uruk IV, around 3300 BC.
Gold amulet pendant, possibly depicting Teshub, the Hittite Storm God, around 1400-1200 BC, from Central Anatolia.
Gold amulet pendant, possibly depicting Teshub, the Hittite Storm God
From Yozgat, Central Anatolia (Turkey)
Around 1400-1200 BC.
Fragment of a painted limestone statue of a deceased couple, from Egypt, around 1391-1353 BC (reign of Amenophis III).
Fragment of a painted limestone statue of a deceased couple
Around 1391-1353 BC (reign of Amenophis III)
From Egypt.
Fragments of decoration from the Temple of Inshushinak, tutelary god of Susa, depicting a bull man and palm tree, from Suse (Iran), around 1150 BC.
Fragments of decoration from the Temple of Inshushinak, tutelary god of Susa, depicting a bull man and palm tree
Around 1150 BC
From Suse (Iran).
Relief depicting a hunting scene in a chariot which decorated a wall in the palace of Maradesh, king of Melid, Neo-Hittite period, 9th century BC, from Malatya (Turkey).
Relief depicting a hunting scene in a chariot which decorated a wall in the palace of Maradesh, king of Melid
Neo-Hittite period, 9th century BC
From Malatya (Turkey).
Engraved cippus surmonted by a head representing the Egyptian deity Bes, protector of households, around 750-600 BC, from Larnaca (Cyprus).
Engraved cippus surmonted by a head representing the Egyptian deity Bes, protector of households
Around 750-600 BC
From Larnaca (Cyprus).
Etruscan cinerary urn with a female head and articulated arms, from Chiusi (Italy), around 550-500 BC.
Etruscan cinerary urn with a female head and articulated arms
From Chiusi (Italy)
Around 550-500 BC.
Troop of funerary servant figures (shabtis) in the name of Neferibreheb, around 500 BC, from Memphis (Egypt).
Troop of funerary servant figures (shabtis) in the name of Neferibreheb
Around 500 BC
From Memphis (Egypt).
Terracotta statuette of Nike, the personification of victory, from Myrina (Turkey), around 190 BC.
Terracotta statuette of Nike, the personification of victory
Around 190 BC
From Myrina (Turkey).
Fragment of a fresco depicting a woman beside a fawn (Bacchic cult scene?), from Pompeii, around 30-50 AD, Louvre Lens
Fragment of a fresco depicting a woman beside a fawn (Bacchic cult scene?)
From Pompeii
Around 30-50 AD.
The Praetorians Relief from the Arch of Claudius, once part of the Arch of Claudius erected in 51 AD to commemorate the conquest of Britain.
The Praetorians Relief from the Arch of Claudius, once part of the Arch of Claudius erected in 51 AD to commemorate the conquest of Britain
From Rome (Italy).
Statue of Hermaphroditus, Louvre Lens, son of Hermes and Aphrodite, around 130-150 AD, from Egypt, France
Statue of Hermaphroditus, Louvre Lens, son of Hermes and Aphrodite
Around 130-150 AD
From Egypt.
Tauroctony relief representing Mithras sacrificing the bull (CIMRM 415-416), around 100-200 AD, from the Capitoline Hill in Rome (Italy).
Tauroctony relief representing Mithras sacrificing the bull
Around 100-200 AD
From the Capitoline Hill in Rome (Italy).
Cuirassed statue of Marcus Aurelius, from Gabies (?), end of the 2nd century AD.
Cuirassed statue of Marcus Aurelius
From Gabies? (Italy)
End of the 2nd century AD.
Fragment of a mosaic floor depicting a preparation of a banquet, found in Carthage, around 180-190 AD, Louvre Lens
Fragment of a mosaic floor depicting a preparation of a banquet
Found in Carthage
Around 180-190 AD.
Sarcophagus depicting a musical context between the god Apollo and the satyr Marsyas, around 290-300 AD, from Cosa (Italy).
Sarcophagus depicting a musical context between the god Apollo and the satyr Marsyas
Around 290-300 AD
From Cosa (Italy).

See more images from the Louvre-Lens antique collections on Flickr

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