Did you know? In 1885, on the slopes of the Quirinal Hill, 6 meters underground, between two foundation walls of an ancient building, one of the most stunning bronze statue of antiquity was found: the Boxer at Rest, dating between the IV and the I century BC. Archeologist Lanciani described the discovery: “The statue had not been just thrown there, buried in a rush, but hidden and treated with the maximum care possible. Being in a sitting position the statue had been placed on a stone Doric capital, and the gap open between the lower foundations of the Temple of the Sun had been filled with sifted earth to hide the statue and save its surface from any possible damage. I have witnessed, in my long career in the active field of archaeology, many discoveries; I have experienced surprise after surprise; I have sometimes and most unexpectedly met with real masterpieces; but I have never felt such an extraordinary impression as the one created by the sight of this magnificent specimen of a semi-barbaric athlete, coming slowly out of the ground, as if awakening from a long repose after his gallant fights.” The statue was buried probably to protect it from one of the two sacks Rome suffered in the V century. Visiting Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, a beautiful and little frequented museum, you will be touched by the boxer’s expression, by his tense muscles, his hands tired and wrapped. You will be in front of a survivor of the shipwreck of a civilization resigned to burying its most precious things rather than watching them destroyed forever. (ph. Andrea Brandino)
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