Arts & Entertainment

Rome delves into its past to celebrate 150 years as Italy’s capital

Rome, May 4 (EFE).- Rome on Tuesday celebrated its 150th anniversary as Italy’s capital by inaugurating an exhibit to shed light on the most important events it witnessed until World War I.

The historical tour at the display begins with the seizure of Rome in 1870 by King Victor Emmanuel II’s troops from Pope Pius IX and its official annexation to the Kingdom of Italy a year later.

The designation of Rome as capital concluded the complex process of unification of a country that had been developing throughout the 19th century in the heat of the nationalist theses of Romanticism.

From that moment on, the exhibition reviews the social, political and cultural transformation Rome has experienced through some 600 works and historical documents.

The exhibition gives an idea of the evolution of the Eternal City, the cradle and meeting point of cultural figures, but also under the scourge of poverty, pillage and disease after a long and turbulent history after the disintegration of the empire.

Visitors will be able to “put themselves in the shoes of an imaginary character who was born around 1850” to understand those historical changes,” the culture superintendent of the city hall, Maria Vittoria Marini Clarelli, told Efe.

Among these changes are the emergence of newspapers or the opening of theaters, until then held “in low regard”, as well as the world’s fair of 1911.

At that time, “the greatest concern of the intellectuals was that Rome would lose its universality, that it would become a capital like the others, that it would cease to be the place where men of culture found themselves at home,” Marini Clarelli said.

But culture maintained its influence, to the point that Italy “entered the war because all the young intellectuals sided with interventionism.”

This was made clear in one of the last rooms of the exhibit by a video of the famous speech by the poet Gabriele D’Anunzio in favor of Italy’s entry into the war against Austria. EFE

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