– ARTWORKS ON LOAN –
Back to what I have repeatedly stated, namely that Italy is the country with the biggest concentration of works of art and archaeological finds in the world, the realization that major foreign museums ask for some works to be exhibited in their cities, this endorse my statement.
Works of art that come and go, becoming “loans” worldwide. It seems that nowadays the positive image of Italy is more “conveyed” by its masterpieces.
The most beautiful archaeological remains of Pompeii are currently on display in London, and it is a recent news that the “wooden Crucifix” by Cimabue and the “Dancing Satyr” of Mazara del Vallo will be exhibited in a museum in the United States.
In 2010 fifty masterpieces of the Italian Baroque of inestimable value were exposed to the Smithsonian Institute in Florida and in the Italian Museum of Fitzgerald Foundation of Florence, while last July, 67 works of art from Florence, they were useful to the Chinese to celebrate the centenary of the birth the National Museum in Beijing.
Many Sicilian artworks are around: the Auriga‘s marble from museum of Mozia, a work unique in its kind, sent to London as a result of trade agreements at the Olympic Games, and now in Malibu, in the Getty Museum, where it will be on display until August 2013; the Efebo of Selinunte is located in Shanghai on display at the exhibition organized for the Triennial, which will close on January, 2013; the Dancing Satyr, sculpture of extraordinary beauty attributed to the school of Lysippos, from Mazara del Vallo is in Shanghai for the Expo, along with the “Aries” from the archaeological Museum of Salinas in Palermo.
Yet, the Satyr, Aries and Auriga are part of the twenty-one works that should be immovable, but, on the contrary, they continue to travel by special permits that let them be away also for long periods.
In 2007 there was controversy on the “Annunciation” by Leonardo, which left Italy to reach Tokyo. And while the borrowing request about the “Birth of Venus” by Botticelli of some non-European countries is still being considered, the foreign tour of “Riace bronzes” has always been rejected by the archaeological superintendent of Calabria, events that reopen the debate on whether or not works of arts, preserved in our museums, should travel around.
I do not want to be accused of catastrophism, but those who has even a bit of acquaintance with this subject knows that the displacement of ancient works is always a risk, even without wanting to get to extreme cases such as the “Le peintre” by Pablo Picasso, destroyed in a plane crash on September 2, 1998
In addition, beyond the risks, an ethic issue should give any visitor, especially if coming from a distance, the right to find in a museum every work that is there stored.
And last but not the least, the possibility that the exhibition of works of art in different states can be disadvantageous for the tourism in Italy. Something that this country needs, and by way of example I can say that if I had the chance to see “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo, here in my country, I would certainly have one “less reason” for visiting the Louvre… uh?!