Giovanni Barracco. Patriota e collezionista

Giovanni Barracco, collector and patriot
19/09/2010 - 09/01/2011
Museo di Scultura Antica Giovanni Barracco

In the framework of the celebrations for "Roma: Capitale d’Italia da 140 anni”, an exhibition dedicated to Giovanni Barracco - a refined collector of ancient sculpture, deputy and senator of the first parliament of united Italy - in the museum that bears his name.

Giovanni Barracco was born in Isola Capo Rizzuto in1829, a noble and ancient family of large landowners. In his youth, which he spent between Calabria and Naples, Barracco studied classics and was imbued with a deep sense of patriotism that exposed him to the ideals of the Risorgimento, even to the point of financing Garibaldi’s undertaking.
In 1861 he sat in the first parliament of united Italy, based in Turin. Here, in the city of the Royal Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, Barracco’s political activity became intertwined with a deep passion for collecting Egyptian art. Thus began his collection of ancient sculpture, with purchases from antique markets ranging from Egyptian to Assyrian and from Cypriot and Etruscan art, from Greek to Roman sculpture, to medieval art.
In the Parliament, where he sat for more than 50 years, Barracco coped with the problems of Calabria, but also with "Fine Arts". After the transfer of the Parliament to Rome in 1870, Barracco contributed to the season of archaeological discoveries connected with the works for Roma Capitale. By the last years of the XIX century, the collection had grown so much that he embarked on the ambitious project to create a "Museum of Ancient Sculpture."
The museum, housed in a building erected for the purpose, was donated in the early XX century to the City of Rome; after the demolition of the building for urban renewal in 1938, the collection is now exhibited in the XVI century “Farnesina ai Baullari”.
Among the works in the collection, the exhibition highlights the beautiful head of the Pharaoh Seti I (XIX Dynasty, early XIII century BC), which is drawn close to a fragment of a statue found at Grottaferrata and preserved in the Museum of the Abbey of St. Nile. Barracco may be referring to the purchase of the head in a letter to Barnabei, when he writes: "Eureka! I found the Pharaoh I wanted,” expressing the joy of the collector for the conquest of a new, valuable object for his collection.


Museo di Scultura Antica Giovanni Barracco
Opening hours

September 19, 2010 - January 9, 2011
Tuesday-Sunday: 9.00 am - 7.00 pm;
December 24 and 31: 9.00 am - 2.00 pm;
Last admission 1/2 hour before closing time;
Closed: Monday, December 25, January 1.

Entrance ticket

Adults: € 5,50
Concessions: € 4,50
Roman Citizens only (by showing a vaild ID): € 4,50 (adults) - € 3,50 (concessions)
Gratuity and Concessions


Info: +39 060608 (every day from 9.00 a.m to 9.00 p.m.)

Web site
Sponsored by

Banche Tesoriere del Comune di Roma: BNL – Gruppo BNP Paribas, UniCredit - Banca di Roma, Monte dei Paschi di Siena; Il Gioco del Lotto; Atac; Vodafone

With technical contributions from

La Repubblica

Maddalena Cima
Roma Città Natale 2010
Musei in Comune
20/12/2010 - 09/01/2011
Museo di Scultura Antica Giovanni Barracco
02/12/2010 - 04/01/2011
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