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ART SAFETY

Published May 13, 2013 by Tony

– ARTWORKS ON LOAN –

 "Birth of Venus" by Botticelli

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 "wooden Crucifix" by Cimabuemasterpieces.

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."Dancing Satyr", Mazara-del-Vallo-IV-sec.-a.C., Mazara-del-Vallo-IV-sec.-a.C.
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 Efebo of Selinunte
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.Riace bronzes

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.

"Annunciation" by LeonardoAnd 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?!

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WEIRD MUSEUMS

Published October 10, 2012 by Tony

BIZZARRE WORLDWIDE MUSEUMS

When it comes to museums, it is natural to think of those where we can see famous works of art or ancient archaeological finds, and so one is surprised to know that there is a museum about menstruation or taps, even! On the web, it is easy to find information about these bizarre museums around the world and for this virtual tour I chose the best known ones.

I noted with interest that at the top as most visited museum is the “Icelandic Phallological Museum” in Reykjavík, with more than 5000 visits per year. It is a museum of penises, with more than 276 specimens from hunting trophies or bodies embalmed and dried. It was born in 1974, through the work of Sigurður Hjartarsonsi, a former professor of Icelandic history, and at the beginning were shown only penises of some animals (not living in Iceland) and of fantasy (elves, trolls, monsters). But the goal was and is to have a penis’ specimen of all mammals in Iceland, including extinct species. Since a “human” model was missing,  one of the older people of the island, the Icelander explorer and womanizer Páll Arason born in 1915, gave ‘his own’ to the museum. By a written document, the founder’s doctor will take care of these particular findings after Hjartarsonsi death.

The ranking of the best weird museums follows with the “FROG MUSEUMin Switzerland. At the end of the nineteenth century, the Swiss Guard François Perrier was so attracted by the frogs who began to explore new and strange ways to embalm them, making the body flexible and suitable for any kind of manipulation. So, with the bodies of 108 frogs filled with sand, composed the first “tableaux vivants”, ie compositions of fantasy in which frogs make a parody of human situations…. while at school, at the table while eating, playing cards, etc..  The compositions are preserved in the museum of regional Estavayer-le-Lac in the canton of Fribourg, and even if it has a collection of lamps and lanterns,  it is well known as the Museum of frogs.

Instead of going in Massachusetts, we can visit comfortably from home the “TOILET MUSEUMor the museum of bathrooms online. Here you can find many historical WC and vintage toilet paper’s images from around the world, carefully collected by the editor Burt Stark. The idea was born in 1982, but only in 1998 Stark has actually started to collect images, which come from various sources: comics, photos, newspapers, movie scenes, etc.. Clicking on a virtual flush, you enter the site divided into various categories, from the classics such as “Ladies Room” and “Mens Room”, to the most extravagant as “Animals bathroom”, “Bathroom Christmas” or “Bathrooms sounds.” Do not miss the section dedicated to e-commerce and themed e-cards.

Continuing the theme, in Italy, in San Maurizio d’Opaglio (NO), there is the “MUSEUM OF TAPand its technology. Here you will find faucets rare, unusual and curious, with historical insights from the Greeks to the present day.

Unusual also the “HAIR MUSEUM”  owned by a certain Leila in Independence, USA, with wigs, combs and tools, but also and mainly human hair, dating back to the eighteenth century, with more than 300 pieces woven into beautiful garlands.

In the lower part of the ranking we find the “BATA SHOES MUSEUMin Toronto, Canada. One of the largest exhibitions in the world of shoes in a futuristic building that contains more than 10,000 specimens, from the ancient Egyptians to the present day.

 

You could find it only in Italy, the “MUSEUM OF PASTA”, and precisely near the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Opened in 1993 with an exhibition on two levels, covers eight centuries of history of this staple food of the Italians. Production equipment, nutritional information, the pasta as ancient and contemporary art, its short history in general.

The “MUSEUM OF MENSTRUATIONyou can not believe, but it really exists and is called “MuM”. For now it is only open “online”, as the official headquarters is a basement of Hyattsville, a small town in Maryland and the creator is Harry Finley, the patron of Tampax, who works for the federal government of the United States in Washington. The menu on the left of the page gives you an idea of the very extensive subjects that the site deals with. Advertisement of the first absorbent, their history with different types and models, scientific news, and more.

The “MUSEUM OF VOODOO” in New Orleans has the exact name of “Voodoo Spiritual Temple” and concerns an activity run by Priestess Miriam Chamani that follows the traditions of her ancestors. In this temple rites are celebrated mainly spiritual healing, based on voodoo American Afro-centric derived from the power of the spirit on the people who live in friendship.

You can find the “MUSEUM OF HORROR” called “Profondo Rosso” of the horror director Dario Argento, in Rome. Here you also can try on your own skin the emotions experienced by the protagonists of his films…

Americans could not miss a “PEANUTS MUSEUM”,  the American symbol par excellence! We are in Connecticut and her (deceased) creator stated: “Nuts have a heart. Hard and pricky sometimes on the outside, but soft and sweet on the inside. That’s my philosophy.”

 

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