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Statues & Steam Engines

Rome's Centrale Montemartini museum.

Statues & Steam Engines

In Via Ostiense, in the zone home to Rome's General Markets, we find the Centrale Montemartini: a stunning example of an industrial facility converted in museum. Here, within the walls of what was the first electrical power station to illuminate the city of Rome, some 400 Ancient Greek and Roman statues, once housed in the Capitolini Museums, are now on show.

Thus amidst the immense diesel turbines and abandoned machinery, the iridescent forms of ancient artworks, the majority of which found during excavation work carried out in the 19th and 20th centuries, can be seen. The exhibition features statues from the Republican era to the late Imperial age, displayed according to a chronological route which illustrates the evolution of the ancient city of Rome.

The museum was opened in 1997 to temporarily house the "Machines of the Gods" exhibition, which was soon to become a permanent fixture. The power station was inaugurated in 1912 and was considered to be among the most modern of its time. Today, in the atrium, the barrels of compressed air used to start up the gigantic diesel turbines in the Machine Room can still be seen.

The Machine Room also functions a striking events venue in which, from Friday to Saturday, concerts and music festivals are held. The dramatically different dimension of this industrial building is part of a much larger project of requalification involving the whole of city's Ostiense Marconi zone, due to be converted into a cultural center and the site of Rome's City of Science.

Centrale Montemartini
Via Ostiense, 106
Roma
www.centralemontemartini.org

Opening hours: from Tuesday to Sunday from 09.00 to 19.00
Closed Monday

Art

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