2,500-year-old terracotta brings Valentine’s love to Italy
A pair of terracotta lovers held in a tender embrace for 2,500 years are getting some TLC for Valentine’s Day from Italy’s cultural officials.
One of the art world‘s most famous statues of lovers, the reclining terracotta bride and groom are afforded high-tech protection against the threat of earthquakes and lesser shaking from outdoor traffic. exterior, officials said on Monday as they unveiled the 18-month project.
The Sarcophagus of the Spouses, made by an unknown craftsman, is in fact an urn built to contain the remains of the deceased. It is one of the main attractions of the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia.
“The sarcophagus is threatened daily by the vibrations produced by the tramway and the Rome-Viterbo railway,” said Valentino Nizzo, director of the museum.
The 18-month project includes the construction of an earthquake-resistant platform for the sarcophagus that will help reduce the vibrations that threaten it.
The sarcophagus, dating from the 6th century BC, was discovered in 1881 in a necropolis in Cerveteri, a former Etruscan settlement near Rome. It was reconstructed from around 400 terracotta fragments.