Liberated Art 1937 – 1947

The Scuderie del Quirinale presents ARTE LIBERATA 1937-1947. Masterpieces saved from war, a new major exhibition, from 16 December 2022 to 10 April 2023, in Rome, curated by Luigi Gallo and Raffaella Morselli and organised by Scuderie in collaboration with Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, ICCD – Istituto Centrale per il catalogo e la Documentazione and Archivio Luce – Cinecittà.

The exhibition offers a selection of over one hundred masterpieces saved during the Second World War, as well as an extensive documentary, photographic and audio panorama – brought together thanks to the collaboration between forty Museums and Institutes – for a compelling and emotional account of a dramatic moment for our country, but one that was equally far-sighted and foundational for a new civic awareness.

A dutiful homage to the women and men who, in the dramatic contingency of war, interpreted their profession in the name of a common interest, aware of the universality of our heritage to be saved.

At the heart of the exhibition project is the far-sighted action of so many Superintendents and officials of the Fine Arts Administration – often forcibly retired after refusing to join the Republic of Salò – who, assisted by art historians and representatives of the Vatican hierarchy, became the interpreters of a great undertaking to safeguard the artistic and cultural heritage.

Among them were Giulio Carlo Argan, Palma Bucarelli, Emilio Lavagnino, Vincenzo Moschini, Pasquale Rotondi, Fernanda Wittgens, Noemi Gabrielli, Aldo de Rinaldis, Bruno Molajoli, Francesco Arcangeli, Jole Bovio and Rodolfo Siviero, secret agent and future plenipotentiary minister in charge of restitution: people who, without weapons and with limited means, became aware of the threat hanging over works of art, taking sides on the front line to prevent it, aware of the educational, identity and community value of art.


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