Arts & Entertainment

Italy showcases mosaics dating back to ancient Rome

Rome, Apr 26 (EFE).- Italy on Monday marked a reopening of some its museums after lockdown with the launch of an exhibition of a large collection of ancient Roman mosaics that used to decorate their homes and temples.

The “Colors of the Romans” exhibition at Centrale Montemartini, one of Rome’s great museums, hopes to attract tourists to the Italian capital through this lesser-known but varied selection of mosaics just as bars, restaurants and other non-essential businesses and shops reopen after months due to the pandemic.

The exhibition is divided into four sections: the first showcases the history and mosaic techniques; the second deals with luxury in ancient Rome; the third explores the mosaic’s sacred function and the fourth shows how it was used in burials and cemeteries.

Among those on display are seabed mosaics with fish, crustaceans and mollusks on, dating back to 1st century BC and uncovered in Rome in 1888.

Having survived to this day, the mosaics showcase the Romans’ fine tastes in decoration and how they used those large mosaics to ward off bad luck or win the favor of the gods.

A part of the exhibition, which runs until Sept. 15, is dedicated to the Basilica Hilariana, a sanctuary for the cult of Cybele and Attis built in the 1st century AD with a donation from Rich merchant Manius Publicius Hilarus.

The building had mosaics preserved to the present day, such as those reading “May the gods be favorable to those who enter here.”

It was a message for the faithful and pilgrims who came to the sanctuary that also had its entrance decorated with mosaics of an eye pierced by an arrow. EFE


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