Pressure mounts for Italy to buy Torlonia marbles—world’s finest collection of Greco-Roman antiquities still in private hands

Recently emerged photographs of the Torlonia collection stored in poor conditions in Rome have stirred fears about the uncertain future of what is considered to be the finest group of Greco-Roman antiquities still in private hands. Despite renewed calls for the Italian government to buy the collection from its aristocratic owners, the Torlonia family foundation tells The Art Newspaper that it is not discussing a sale with the state.

For decades, the 620 classical marble busts and statues remained unseen at the Palazzo Torlonia, the noble Roman family’s property on Via della Lungara. A selection of 92 pieces was recently restored with sponsorship from luxury jeweller Bulgari for public display in a landmark exhibition at the Capitoline Museums, which runs until 29 June. The show was hailed as the first step towards a new museum for the sculptures in Rome.

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