This chronology focuses on the primary subjects of this web site, the physical history of the Ara Pacis Augustae; its creation, gradual disappearance, rediscovery, alteration and dispersal, excavation, reconstruction, restoration, present condition and display. Also listed are a few of the landmark publications and images that define the evolving state of research on the Ara Pacis.

I have used the most commonly accepted dates, but many of these are approximations, others hypothetical. Scholars disagree about the exact dates of some of these events, and even secure dates are often markers of long-term changes. Recently, new dates with related information have been emerging as documents have been made available and examined by a range of scholars.

Ideally, a comprehensive scholarly chronology would include all dates proposed, including conflicting dates, with full references for each. Such a chronology on the Ara Pacis has not been published and would be a major undertaking.

In her informative museum guidebook, Orietta Rossini provides the most detailed, up-to-date discussion of the history of the Ara Pacis, on which this chronology heavily depends (Ara Pacis, Museo in Comune, Roma, 2006/2009; pp. 6-21, 94-121).

600 BCE - 27 BCE
Pre-history of Ara Pacis Augustae

13 BCE - 99 CE
Conception, Construction, and Dedication of the Ara Pacis Augustae a
nd events in the 1st C. CE

2nd C. CE - 15th C.
Deterioration and Disappearance

1463 - 1855
Gradual Rediscovery, Dispersal and Restoration

1856 - 1924
First Excavation and Early Research

1925 - 1939
Primary Excavation and Reconstruction

1940 - 1990
World War II and Later Restoration

1990 - 2006
Creation of the New Museum and Restoration of the Ara Pacis

2006 - 2011
Following the 2006 Opening of the Museo dell'Ara Pacis

600 BCE - 27 BCE
Pre-history of Ara Pacis Augustae

Four events previous to the creation of the Ara Pacis are especially to be noted.

594-589 BCE
In Egypt, during the reign of Psametik II (Psammeticus II), a pair of rose granite obelisks, quaried at Aswan, were erected at the sanctuary to Re in Helipolis, dedicated to the sun god. Almost 6 centuries later, one of these was removed by Augustus, shipped across the Mediterranean, and erected in the northern Campus Martius near the Ara Pacis Augustae. The obelisk was erected 10-9 BCE, contemporary with the construction of the Ara Pacis.

ca.30-30 BCE
Vitruvius (Marcus Vitruvius Polli) wrote on scrolls his Ten Books on Architecture (Architectura Libri Decem), extensively copied in the ancient world. The most famous writing on architecture that has survived from the ancient world and generaly recognized as the most influencial writing on architecture ever.

28 BCE
The northern Campus Martius, which had been largely an open area used for military exercises and sports, etc., began to be developed by Augustus.
A model and diagrams showing this development are available on this web site.

28-27 BCE
Octavian (soon to acquire the title of Augsustus) had his mausoleum constructed on the northern Campus Martius, just within the wall surrounding the city of Rome, the city's sacred border: the Mausoleum of Augustus (Mausoleum Augusti).

27 BCE
The Tiber River once again flooded Rome. Because the Campus Martius was one of the lowest lying areas of Rome, it was one of the most regularly flooded (typography and flood maps of ancient Rome).

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13 BCE - 99 CE
Conception, Construction and Dedication of the Ara Pacis Augustae and events in the 1st C. CE

13 BCE ff
The dates listed below from 31 BCE to 121 CE are based on various documents (most very minor and not separately listed here) that refer briefly to a monument named the "Ara Pacis Augustae". Because none of these documents provide illustrations, physical descriptions, or identify the exact location of the altar, it is impossible to prove that these documents refer to the physical monument we now call the "Ara Pacis Augustae" (or simply "Ara Pacis"). Indeed, a few scholars have suggested that these documents do not refer to this monument. However, the original location of the monument we now call the Ara Pacis, its impressive stature, the appropriateness of the images represented, and the lack of any more likely monument, strongly argue that this physical object is the altar referred to in these literary references.

Only Augustus's own Res Gestae and Ovid's Fasti provide significant text. Even if these references were not to this monument, the monument itself provides much more in-depth evidence of Augustan Rome than the few probable, very brief literary mentions of the monument.

13 BCE, July 4
Following previous plans for the erection in the forum of an altar honoring Augustus' triumphal return from Hispania and Gaul, the Senate voted, in a constitutio, the establishment of an Altar of Peace to the edge of the pomerium, the sacred open space just inside the wall surrounding the city of Rome. Because the altar was not constructed there, it seems to have been rejected by Augustus.

13-9 BCE
Construction of the Ara Pacis, planned and executed over 3 1/2 years, no doubt with occasional changes during that time.

10-9 BCE
After having the obelisk of Psametik II (Psammeticus II) removed from Heliopolis and shipped across the Mediterranean, Augustus had it erected on the northern campus Martius, placed on a new, large rose granite base, from the same quary as the obelisk, and inscribed on 2 sides.




"Caesar Augustus, imperator, son of a divus,
pontifex maximus, imperator 12 times, consul 11 times,
with tribunician power 14 times.
With Egypt having been brought into the domain of the Roman people,
Augustus gave this gift to the sun" (trans. Swetnam-Burland, p.135).

A bronze globe with spire was attached to the obelisk's pinnacle. A travertine pavement with a single bronze guideline, with cross markers, known as the meridian, was installed, running approximately north of the obelisk. The obelisk thus served partly as the gnomon of a sundial that tracked the length of the obelisk's shadow each day at noon. The obelisk also served as a fulcrum, helping to tie together the three major Augustan monuments in the area: the obelisk, Ara Pacis, and, most prominently, the Mausolum of Augustus.

9 BCE, Jan. 30
The Ara Pacis was dedicated on the 50th birthday of Livia, Augustus' wife. The  2 processional friezes on the Ara Pacis show the religious procession, a supplicatio, on this occasion. Following this, each year on January 30, magistrates, priests, and Vestal Virgins were to perform sacifices at the Ara Pacis to celebrate the benefits of peace.

ca. 1 - 4 CE
Ovid wrote his elegiac poem called Fasti (The Festivals) which followed the Roman calendar, treating religious festivals, historical anniversaries, etc. Only the first 6 calendar books, January-June, were completed. Because ancient references to the Ara Pacis Augustae are so rare, the passages thought to relate to the Ara Pacis Augustae are quoted here. The prose translations below are taken from Ovid, Times and Reasons: a new translation of Fasti by Anne and Peter Wiseman (Oxford University Press, 2011).

Book I, January, lines 709-722
"The song tiself has brought me to the altar of Peace. This will be the second day from the end of the month.
Be present, Peace, your neat hair wreathed with branches from Actium, and remain gentle in all the world. Provided enemies are missing, let the reason for a triumph be missing too. You will be for our leaders a glory greater than war.
May the soldier bear weapons only to keep weapons in check, and may nothing but a procession be sounded by the fierce trumpet. Both nearest and furthest, let the world dread Aeneas' descendants; may Rome be loved by any land that feared her not enough.
You priests, add incense to the flames at the rites of Peace, and let the white victim fall, its brow well soaked. Ask the gods, who incline towards pious prayers, that the house which guarantees her may last long years with Peace."

Book II, February, lines 57-67
"Where are they now, the temples that were dedicated to the goddess on those Kalends? They have fallen with the long passage of time.
The far-sighted care of our hallowed leader has seen to it that the rest of the temples should not suffer the same collapse and ruin; under him the shrines do not feel their advancing years. It isn't enough to bind men with his favours; he binds gods as well.
Builder of temples, holy restorer of temples, I pray the gods above may have concern for you in return. May the heavenly ones grant you the years you have granted them, and may they remain at their post to guard your house."

Book III, March, lines 881-882
When four times from then the heardsman has penned his well-fed kids, and four times the grass has whitened with fresh dew, it will be time to worship Janus, and with him gentle Concord and Roman Safety and the altar of Peace."

11 CE
Augustus gave the Vestal, for safe keeping, 4 large scrolls, in which he had recorded his memoirs for posterity. These included a narrative of his accomplishments during his 57 years of public life, the Res Gestae. Scholars agree that the complexity of the document would have required some years of writing. As transcribed by modern scholars from ancient stone inscriptions, the section of the Res Gestae referring to the Ara Pacis may be translated as:

"On my return from Spain and Gaul after successful operations restoring law and order in these provinces, the Senate voted, during the consulship of Tiberius Nero and Publius Quintilius, in honor of my return, that an altar to Peace be consecrated in the Campus Martius, and that on this altar the magistrates, priests, and Vestal Virgins are to make annual sacrifices."
An account of the complex later history of Augustus' text and photographs of the latin inscription of the official 1937 critical edition of the Res Gestae, carved in 1938-40 on the east wall of the fascist Ara Pacis pavilion, are available on this web site.

1st C. CE ff
Regular flooding of the Tiber gradually raised the ground level, beginning to cover the Ara Pacis with earth.
Diagrams of the topography and floods of ancient Rome.

Late 1st C. CE
Emperor Domitian had the obelisk of Psametik II and Augustus and the meridian raised and realigned because the flooding of the Tiber had caused the obelisk and meridian to cease to functon properly.

54-78 CE
Nine coins of Nero were struck representing the facade of a monument with the words "ARA PACIS". Most scholars consider that these very likely represent  the public approach front (original east front) facing the Via Flaminia of the Ara Pacis Augustae. If so, these are the only ancient images of the Ara Pacis Augustae. The images on 2 of these coins are especially close to the design of this facade as reconstructed in 1938 and seen today.
Photos of the 2 sides of the coin with the most similar image (64-67 CE) is available on this web site.

ca. 77-79 CE
In his Natural History (Naturalis Historia), Book XXXVI, 72, 73, the Elder Pliny described the Egyptian obelisk reerected by Augustus on the Campus Martius in 10-9 BCE and the layout of the pavement with meridian to trace the length of the shadow cast by the obelisk at midday each day. Pliny wrote:
"The obelisk placed by Augustus of Revered Memory  in the Circus Maximus was cut by King Psemetnepserphreus, who was reigning when Pythagoras was in Egypt, and measures 85 feet and 9 inches, apart from its base, which forms part of the same stone. The obelisk in the Campus Martius, however, which is 9 feet less, was cut by Sesothis. Both have inscriptions comprising an account of natual sceince according to the theoreis of the Egyptian sages. The one in the Campus was put to use in a remarkable way by Augustus of Revered Memory so as to mark the sun's shadow and thereby the lengths of  days and nights. A pavement was laid down for a distance appropriate to the height of the obelisk so that the shadow cast at  noon on the shortest day of the year might exactly coincide with it. Bronze rods let into the pavement were meant to measure the shadow day by day as it gradually became shorter and then lengthened again. This device deserves to be carefuly studied, and was contrived by the mathematician Novius Facundus. He placed on the pinnacle a  gilt ball, at the top of which the shadow would be concentrated, for otherwise the shadow cast by the tip of the obelisk would have lacked definition. He is said  to have understood the principle from observing shadow cast by the human head. The readings thus given have for about thirty years past failed to correspond to the calendar, either because the course of the sun itself is anomalous and has been altered by some change in the behavior of the heavens or because the whole earth has shifted slightly from its  central position, a phenomenon which, I hear, has been detected also in other places, Or else earth-tremors in the city may have brought about a purely local displacement of the shaft or floods from the Tiber may have caused the mass to settle, even though the foundations are said to have been sunk to a depth equal to the height of the load they have to carry."  (quoted from Pliny Natural History, with an English translation in ten volumes; Vol. X, Libri XXXVI-XXXVII, by D. E. Eichholz; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1962; pp. 55, 57).

80 CE
Major fire which almost certainly would have hastened the deterioration of the Ara Pacis, obelisk, and meridian.

86 CE
A coin of Domitian was struck representing the facade of a monument with entry stairs and the word "PACIS". Most scholars consider that this most likely represents the ceremonial (original west) front of the Ara Pacis Augustae, though a few think it must represent a slightly later, related monument.

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2nd C. CE - 15th C.
eterioration and Disappearance

117-138 CE
Hadrian, Princeps CE 117-138, transformed Rome through new monumental structures, renovation of previous buildings and districts, and significant societal changes. He continued to raise the ground level of the northern Campus Martius but mainained the park-like character of the area near the Ara Pacis and the new wall intended to protect the upper portion of the monument from the rising ground level.

123 CE
Stamps of 123 and later in bricks of the retaining wall constructed to protect the Ara Pacis indicate the approximate date at which Hadrian raised the ground level 1.80 to 1.88 meters on all of its sides. The ground level would then have been approximately level with the horizontal meander stringcourse running between the processional and scrolling acanthus friezes. This also required the construction of new staircases down to the east and west fronts of the monument. The relation of the new protective wall to the monument is clearly diagrammed in a recent groundplan by Claridge. A little paved street now led from the Via Lata (Via Flaminia) to the eastern entrance to the Ara Pacis and, as seen in Claridge's groundplan, the view of the east front was more spacious than that of the west front.
(The progress of the gradually rising ground level, construction of the surrounding, protective brick wall, building of other structures in the area, and eventual covering of the entire Ara Pacis, is shown graphically in a video in the lower level of the Museo dell’Ara Pacis.) 

2nd - 4th C. CE
There are various indications that some of the reliefs then still above ground were partially recraved in late antiquity, though scholars disagree instructively on the extent of this recarving. The recarving is most notable on the processional relief with Augustus on the original south side of the Ara Pacis. The incised irises and pupils on eyes were almost certainly carved in late antiquity, prehaps to substitute for what would originally have been painted on the flat surfaces of the eyeballs.

4th C. CE
It seems likely that some reliefs of the Ara Pacis may have been removed, others damaged, during the building of San Lorenzo in Lucina, next to the location of the Ara Pacis.

5th C. CE - 11th C.
Evidence for the Ara Pacis and obelisk during these centuries is almost non-existent. We know that the Ara Pacis was eventually completely covered by earth and forgotten and that the obelisk of Psametik II and Augustus fell or was pulled down and broke into 5 pieces during the Middle Ages, but not when. Major damage would clearly have occurred to any of the Ara Pacis still above ground and the obelisk would likely have been pulled down during the various sacks of Rome.
410: Rome sacked by the Visigoths, the Mausoleum of Augustus and other major buildings ransacked.
455: Rome sacked by the Vandals, who plundered the city for 14 days.
1084: Rome sacked by the Normans, who gutted many buildings and set five to the city.

The British Cardinal Hugh of Evesham had a building constructed adjacent to the  Church of San Lorenzo in Lucina. This structure, which served for centuries as the palace of the cardinals of San Lorenzo in Lucina, covered part of the Ara Pacis.

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1463 - 1855
radual Rediscovery, Dispersal and Restoration

1463 and 1502
Fragments of the Obelisk of Psametik II (Psammeticus II) from Heliopolis (which Augustus had had removed to Rome and re-erected on the Campus Martius with Augustan additions) and portions of the Augustan bronze meridian (constructed in the pavement running north from the obelisk), which had been covered by earth, were accidentally discovered. They were discovered in the basement of a barber’s shop in a no longer existent little street just north of the original location of the obelisk, near what is now Via di Campo No.48.  

The Palazzo in Via in Lucina (later to become the Palazzo Fiano), owned by Cardinal Fazio Santoro, was completed. It seems likely that fragments of the Ara Pacis reliefs would have been discovered at this time.

ca. 1530-1535
An engraving was made by Agostino dei Musi, called Agostino Veneziano, which provides our earliest evidence that by then some fragments of the Ara Pacis had been unearthed and were recognized for their importance (illustration available on this website). This detailed engraving with central acanthus stalk, swan, etc. is almost certainly a reasonably accurate image of the now lost marble slab from the center of the south side scrolling acanthus frieze. Agostino Veneziano was known for his accurate, documentary engravings. The comparable section of the north side frieze has survived and does not match this engraving; whereas this section of the original south side frieze is almost entirely missing. As reconstructed in 1938 and seen today, the central sections of the scrolling acanthus frieze on the south side were modeled on the corresponding original marble panels on the north side.

Property on the Pincian Hill (Pincio) to the east of and overlooking the Campus Martius, location of the future Villa Medici, was acquired by the nephews of Cardinal Giovanni Ricci of Montepulciano.

1566/1568  (a few of the published dates for 1566-1569 do not exactly agree)
Cardinal Giovanni Ricci da Montepulciano purchased 9 or 10 large, heavy blocks of marble, about 80 cm. thick (about 31 in.), with reliefs. These were housed in the courtyard of the palace in Via in Lucina (later Palazzo Fiano), under which they had been found. At the time, the reliefs were wrongly thought to be from the Arch of Domitian. The documentation for exactly which blocks these were and what happened to each of them is for the most part clear but not exact or consistent in many details, so that published accounts sometimes vary. The relief we now identify as the Tellus/Pax/Italia/Venus relief was on one of the blocks. Another included a portion of a scrolling acanthus relief, probably from the panel below the Tellus relief. Most of the others had processional and festoon with ox skull reliefs on opposite sides.

Cardinal Giovanni Ricci da Montepulciano wrote 4 letters to Bartolomeo Concini, Secretary to Cosimo I, describing the blocks of marble that had been extracted, to persuade the soon-to-be grand duke of Tuscany to acquire all or most of the reliefs for Cosimo I de’ Medici.

1568 Dec. 24 and 1569 Jan. 13  (dates of documents)
After the reliefs had been purchase, the sculptor Leonardo Soriani was paid to saw 7 of the  blocks of marble lengthwise, each into 3 slabs, separating the figural and festoon with ox head reliefs and producing a blank marble slab between. This reduced the weight of the reliefs, making transportation easier and increased the number of displayable reliefs. An unfortunate result has been that there are no common saw marks on the insides of the figural and festoon with ox skull slabs that were cut, which might have made it possible to determine which were originally joined.

Some of the slabs remained in the courtyard of the Palazzo. These probably included the following 4 slabs:  2 from the north processional frieze, one of which was from near the left end (later in the Louvre), the other from the right end (later in the Vatican collection); plus 2 of the festoon with ox skull slabs, one later used as a tombstone in the Gesù, the other later lost, said to be from the back of the Louvre slab

The Tellus/Pax/Italia/Venus relief was promptly sent to Cosimo I, the first Medici grand duke, in Florence, probably to demonstrate the quality of the carving.

The other processional and festoon with ox skull reliefs were taken to the residence that Cardinal Giovanni Ricci da Montepulciani was building, the future Villa Medici (purchase by Ferdinando Medici in 1573). There, 5 of the slabs with festoons and ox skulls were walled into the inner court façade of the Villa. Most importantly, 5 slabs of the 2 processional friezes were walled into the retaining wall of the terrace, east of the garden. These 5 major slabs included the 3 panels from the right end of the south side processional frieze and the 2 central panels from the north side processional frieze.

The later histories of each of these major slabs are described at various points in this chronology.

The 2 sets of drawings listed next below provide invaluable records of the condition of most sections of the 2 processional friezes soon after their rediscovery and seemingly before any further recarving. These 2 sets represent the same sections of the friezes: the 4 left-most sections of the still-surviving north side frieze, and the 3 right-most sections of the still-surviving south side frieze.

Seven key drawings by an anonymous artist, drawn about 1568-1580, provide an invaluable record of the condition of most sections of the 2 processional friezes soon after their rediscovery and seemingly before any further recarving. Alhough these drawings do not include parts of the lower bodies and shoes, which are shown in the 1575 Etienne Du Pérac drawings listed immediately below, these anonymous drawings are slightly more accurate in their bodily propoprtions and postures and are recognized as our most reliable evidence. These 7 drawings are on folios 93-96 of the Codex Ursinianus by Ligorio and Panvinius, previously at the Uffizi, now in the Vatican Collection (cat. no. 3439).
The 4 drawings of the north side frieze are reproduced on this website.
The 3 drawings of the south side frieze are reproduced on this web site.

Drawings were made by Etienne Du Pérac (1525-1604), a Parisian architect, painter, and engraver, who spent some 20 years in Rome. Like the anonymous ca.1568-1580 drawings listed immediately above, these Du Pérac drawings provide invaluable evidence of the condition of most sections of the 2 processional friezes soon after their rediscovery and seemingly before any further recarving. The proportions and postures of the bodies are not recorded quite as accuately as in the anonymous drawings described immediately above, but they include many lower portions of bodies and shoes missing in the ca.1568-1580 anonymous drawings. Du Perac's drawings of these processional reliefs and his drawing of a festoon with ox skulls relief from the interior of  the precinct wall are fixed into a large album in the collection of the Louvre. This album, Illustration des fragments antiques, is signed by Du Pérac and dated 1575 (Louvre, Cabinet des Dessins, nos. 26465, f. 94 - 26466, f. 95 - 26467, f. 96).

Property of Villa Medici acquired by Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici, who commissioned the architect Bartolomeo Ammanati to complete the Villa, incorporating many ancient Roman reliefs and sculpture. As a later time, relief panels of festoons hanging from the horns of ox skulls were walled into the garden facade. These were later identified as having come from the interior walls of the surronding precinct walls of the Ara Pacis Augustae. They remain in this location, exposed to the elements.

The famous antiquary and patron of the arts, Cassiano Dal Pozzo (1598-1657), commissioned various artists to make drawings recording classical antiquities. Among the many drawings preserved are 5 of the 2 processional reliefs from the Ara Pacis. These are drawings of the same reliefs as those drawn ca.1568-1580 and in 1575, listed above. These are the 4 left-most sections of the still-surviving sections of the north side frieze, and the 3 right-most sections of the still-surviving sections of the south side frieze. As with the 2 previous sets of drawings, these Dal Pozzo drawings provide invaluable evidence of the reliefs at the time. However, comparison with the earlier drawings shows that in the Dal Pozzo drawings 3 heads have been added to the central sections of the north side frieze, and 1 has been added to the next section left; possibly by a carver, but more likely by the artist of the Dal Pozzo drawings. The drawing of a left end section of the north side frieze, seemingly by a different artist, includes considerable imaginative reconstruction, again more likely to have been added by the draughtsman than by a restorer of the relief. These 5 sheets are in the collection of the Royal Library, Windsor Castle (Album II: f.22, no.8277; f.23, no.8278; f.24, no.8279; f.25, no.8280; and Album X, f.6, no.7999).
2 of the drawings of the north side frieze are reproduced on this website.
The 2 drawings of the south side frieze are reproduced on this web site

The Palazzo in Via in Lucina (later to become the Palazzo Fiano) and adjoining buildings were sold to Prince Michele Peretti, a relative of Pope Sixtus V.  In the late 19th century it was discovered that this palace covered part of the Ara Pacis Augustae.

Five prints were produced by Bernardino Capitelli, Sienese (1589-1639), primarily representing sections of the Ara Pacis processional friezes. Although of high quality, these images are somewhat inventive.

Three prints were produced by G. P. Bellori, representing sections of the Ara Pacis processional friezes. These impressive prints are finely detailed but somewhat inventive.

end of 17th century
The Peretti properties on both sides of Via del Corso were bought by Marco Ottoboni, Duke of Fiano. These included the palace adjoing S. Lorenzo in Lucina, which became known as the Palazzo Fiano. In the late 19th century it was discovered that this palace covered part of the Ara Pacis Augustae.

The German artist Christian Berentz (1658-1722) produced an outdoor still-life painting including a large fragment of one of the festoon with ox skull reliefs from the inside of the surrounding precinct wall of the Ara Pacis; though not yet associated with the monument (the painting is now in the collection of the Kunstsammlungen und Museen Augsburg, Inv. Nr. L872). The Ara Pacis fragment is shown resting on the ground and leaning against a wall, which has been identified as in a narrow passage between the southern aisle and the 'Terrazzzal of the Villa Medici. This is one of the fragments later walled into the east-facing garden facade of the Villa Medici. A signed and dated drawing of the same view of this fragment was made by Joseph Wright of Derby in 1774 (see under 1774).

One of the first public art museums anywhere in the world, the Capitoline Museum was opened to the public in the Palazzo Nuovo on the Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill). This was established for the exhibition of the major collection of antiquities that Pope Clement XII had recently purchased from Cardinal Alesandro Albani (1692-1779). This became an archtype for later public art museum in Italy and elsewhere.

The obelisk of Psametik II (Psammeticus II) and Augustus, which had either fallen or been pulled down and was broken into pieces, was excavated, before being moved to the Piazza Montecitorio, reconstructed with additions, and reerected by Pope Pius VI in 1792.

A signed and dated drawing by the British artist Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-1797), who traveled throughout Italy 1773-1775, shows the same large fragment of the Ara Pacis as in the 1715-1720 painting by the German artist Chrisian Berentz (1658-1722). The drawing shows the fragment from the same angle (but with different lighting) with no significant changes, seemingly resting against the same wall of the future Villa Medici, suggesting that it had remained in the same location for at least the preceeding 60 years.

Five reliefs that had been walled into the terrace wall of the Villa Medici, at the east of the garden, were removed to be sent to the Uffizi, Florence, which had by then emerged as a full-fledged public art museum. These sections, which we now know to have been from the Ara Pacis, included the 3 panels now at the right end of the south side processional frieze and the 2 panels now at the center of the north side processional frieze.
The 2 pairs of festoons hanging from ox skulls, which also were later discovered to have been part of the Ara Pacis, may have been walled into the ground level of the terrace wall at about this time, where they remain.

The Tuscan-Roman sculptor-restorer-teacher, Francesco Carradori (1747-1825), head of the Florentine Academy's school of sculpture, was commissioned to restore the 5 sections of the processional reliefs described above, in preparation for their been sent to Florence. His extensive restoration and recarving of these reliefs, carried out in Rome, was intended to make the reliefs more complete, legible and appealing to those who would view them on display in the Uffizi. Nevertheless, Carradori's reconstructions significantly altered the character of many of the figures, most strikingly those on the original north side processional frieze, making them appear much more neoclassical than the Augustan originals. Where a few of the heads were missing, entirely new ones were created. The various types of these extensive alterations and how to identify them are instructively described by Conlin, 1997, pp. 53-55. Although we may wish that the reliefs had been left unchanged, even in their damaged condition, we should note Carradori's extraordinary skill in carving,

Francesco Carradori wrote an invalable report of his restoration. Titled ". . . the noted bas-reliefs already on route to Livorni to be conducted to Florence", it must have been written 1780 and possibly 1781 (not 1784), since we know the reliefs arrived at the Uffizi in 1781. He described the serious condition of these reliefs when he examined them and his approach to their restoration. This document was preserved in the Uffizi archives and published in 1881 by Friederich von Duhn, as an addendum to his own major article "Sopra alcuni bassirilievi che ornavano un monumento pubblico Romano dell'Epoca di Augusto" (see bibliography on this website).
An english translation of Carradori's report is available on this website.

The 5 reliefs described above were placed on display in the Uffizi, incorporated in a gallery with other sculpture..

Pope Pius VI Braschi bought for the Vatican collection the large slab from the right end of the north side processsional frieze. Perhaps at this time, the major reconstruction and recarving was carried out, on all heads except 2 in low relief in the background. It was displayed in the Belvedere cortile until 1954.

The obelisk of Psametik II (Psammeticus II) and Augustus was reerected by Pope Pius VI, this time in Piazza Montecitorio. Major reconstruction was necessary and the Pope had papal inscriptions added to the base and a new bronze sphere added on the pinnacle of the obelisk.

Publication of Instruzione Elementare per gli Studiosi della Scultura, by Francesco Carradori (1747-1825), head of the Florentine Academy's school of sculpture. Although Carradori does not mention the friezes he reconstructed (which we now know to have been 5 of the reliefs from the 2 processional friezes of the Ara Pacis), the information he provides about tools and techniques and his brief section on "Restoring Ancient Sculpture" are important sources for understanding the Ara Pacis friezes as we see them today.

Napoleonic occupation of Rome.

1849 Februay 9
Declaration of the Roman Republic as a state.

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1856 - 1924
First Excavation and Early Research

Because severe cracks had appeared in the walls of the Palazzo Fiano on Via in Lucina, resulting from deteriorating supports, small masonry walls were built under the Palazzo walls to widen the building’s support structure, extending under the Via in Lucina. Some of these new underpinning walls were built directly on top of the as yet unidentified Ara Pacis, which provided solid support.

1859 Sept. & Nov.
During consolidation of the Palazzo Fiano, the engineer in charge, Herzog, discovered (several meters below ground level, in the recess which the Palazzo Fiano makes in the Via in Lucina), what appeared to be the foundation of a building, which we now know to have been the podium of the Ara Pacis. He also discovered some 17 carved fragments, large and small. Although the monument of which they had been a part was not yet known, Herzog wrote that they were wonderful pieces of beauty that seemed to belong to a frieze. Some of the slabs were excavated and put into the courtyard of the palace, where they remained until 1898, when they were sold to the Museo Nazionale Romano. These slabs included mostly sections of the scrolling acanthus friezes, but also the left half of the Numa/Aeneas panel with 2 youths and sow. They also included the head of Mars from the Lupercal panel, which was taken to Vienna but later returned.

These discoveries fully awakened scholars to the importance of whatever monument(s) these impressive fragments and others seemingy related had been a part.

The first modern transcription was made of any ancient text of Augustus’ Res Gestae. Made by 2 French scholars, G. Pierrot and E. Guillaumes, this transcription was made from surviving portions of Latin and Greek inscriptions on the walls of the pronaos of the temple dedicated to Rome and Augustus at Ancyna (present-day Ankara, Turkey). The transcription included a very brief description of the Ara Pacis, which provided the first indication of its original location next to the Campus Martius.

Proclamation of Rome as a capital, leading to massive new construction which brought to light large amounts of material of major archaeological importance.

The marble slab (now at the Louvre) from the north side processional frieze, then in the collection of the Marchese Campana, was purchased  by the Musée du Louvre.

Printing of the Res Gestae text, as transcribed by Pierrot and Guillaumes (see 1861 above).

The earliest known photograph of the Ara Pacis Augustae (though not yet associated with the monument) was taken by a now unknown photographer, commissioned by John Henry Parker (1806-1884) for his archive collection of photographs of Rome. Parker was a well-known bookseller, publisher, and author of a 2-volume Archaeology of Rome, published 1874 and 1876. The photograph records a well-preserved fragment of the upper-right corner of the scrolling acanthus frieze with attached pilaster relief, reconstructed in 1938 as part of the original north side of the precinct wall. The photograph also records, below this fragment, a fragment of the base of one of the pilasters of the exterior precinct wall. In 1938 this was reconstructed, seemingly incorrectly, as the base of the pilaster to the right of the doorway of the public approach front (original east).

First partial identification of an Ara Pacis remain  (Hans Dütschke, Antike Bildwerke in Oberitalien, III, Leipzig, 1878).

First publication proposing the correct location of the building refered to in ancient sources as the "Ara Pacis Augustae" on the Campus Martius, and the first publication to identify a number of reliefs as coming from that monument (“Über einige Basreliefs und ein römisches Bauwerk der ersten Kaiserzeit"). In this 6 page article, the young German archaeologist Friedrich von Duhn argued that marble reliefs recently removed from under the Palazzo Fiano and Via in Lucina, in addition to several then in other collections, were so similar in size and technique that they must be from the same monument, and that this monument must have been the "Ara Pacis Augustae".

Publication of  a much more extensive paper by von Duhn ("Sopra alcuni bassirilevi che oravano un monumento pubblico romano dell'Epoca di Augusto"). Von Duhn here provided additional information and the proposal that additional discovered slabs were also part of the same Ara Pacis Augustae monument. This landmark publication included important early and recent drawings of key slabs, a few presumably drawn by von Duhn or assistants, showing their condition at different times and additions made.

1882 July
In the first attempt of the Italian govenrment to control the built heritage of Italy, the Ministry of Education passed a decree and issue an accompanying circular on the  restoration of monuments in Italy.

Fourth Congress of Architects and Engineers, held in Rome. Participants passed a motion, proposed by Camilio Boito (1836-1914), criticizing the act passed the previous year by the Ministry of Education, arguing instead for clear distinction between old and new parts of a building and a strictly scientific approach.

Publication of  a  lecture by Camillo Boito, "I restauratori", given in Turin June 7 (published Florence: G. Barbera). Boito here established one of the basic approaches to restoration, argued for the monument primarily as a document of art and history. Thus he argued for minimal intervention, reinforcement where necessary instead of repair, repair rather than restoration, clear distinction between original and non-original parts, and thorough documentation. 

Founding of the Roman National Museum (Museo Nazionale Romano) located first in the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels, which had been constructed on the ruins of the Baths of Diocletian. The Museum gradually came to contain the most extensive collection of Roman antiquities anywhere housed in 4 major sites.

Publication of "I restauri in architettura", Questioni pratiche di belle arti, restauri, concorsi, legislazione, professione, insegnamento, by Camillo Boito (1936-1914). Although dealing mainly with architecture, this is a key document in the founding of modern Italian conservation theory, exposing the absurdity of rigid adherence to any of the current conservation approaches.
English translation available on the web through JStor.

First proposed reconstruction of the Ara Pacis, by the Swedish archaeologist, Eugene Petersen; a more than 200 page article, "Ara Pacis Augustae", with extensive illustrations. His reconstruction was based on the blocks then considered part of the monument, but without as yet knowing the size of the foundation platform or sacraficial altar. Nevertheless, Petersen's reconstruction provided much of the basis for the 1938 physical reconstuction.

Publication of a paper by Eugene Petersen, proposing that the fragments of the Ara Pacis under the Palazzo Fiano-Almagià be excavated.

Sale to the Italian State by the hiers of the Piazza Fiano of reliefs discovered in 1859 under the Piazza Fiano.

Publication of the first map correctly identifying the original location of the Ara Pacis: The Ruins & Excavations of Ancient Rome, by Rudolfo Lanciani, who by 1878 had been placed in charge of all excavations in Rome.

The head of Mars from the Lupercal relief on the ceremonial (original west) front, which had been rediscovered in 1859 and acquired by a private collector in Vienna, was bought back by the Italian Government.

The slabs that had been excavated during consolidation of the Palazzo Fiano in  1859 and placed in its courtyard (except for  the head of Mars described above), were sold, by the Duke of Fiano, to the Museo Nazionale Romano. These slabs included mostly sections of the scrolling acanthus friezes, but also the left half of the Numa/Aeneas panel with 2 youths and sow.

Rediscovery of a section of relief with festoon and ox skull, from the inside of the precinct wall. The corresponding slab from the north side processional frieze was then in the Vatican collection. The festooned slab was discovered in the Ospedale Bambino Gesú, where it had been used face down as the tombstone of Monsignor Poggi, who had died in 1628. 
The slab had protruded from the floor and was badly worn and chipped.
The slab with proposed reconstruction was clearly illustrated by Petersen in 1902, providing the basis for the 1938 reconstruction.

ca. 1900
Destruction of the Porto di Ripetta with its grand, much-loved, flowing staircase, as part of the construction of the Tiber embankment.

Construction of the Lungotevere, along the top of the new Tiber embankment, and of the Ponte Cavour across the Tiber, near the site of the Mausoleum of Augustus.

Publication of the major, 2 volume, "Ara Pacis Augustae", by Eugen Petersen, with drawings by George Niemann, vol. 1 text, vol. 2, drawings and photographs. This was the first comprehensive attempt to indicate the original design of the Ara Pacis. Petersen had been able to study most of the fragments, by 1898 deposited in the recently founded Museo Nazionale Romano alla Terme, but, as yet, without having measurements of the foundation of the Ara Pacis as the basis. His overall design was therefore hypothetical and he included fragments no longer considered from the Ara Pacis, but his publication provided a basis for all later work.

1903 February
Following recognition of the importance of his 1902 publication, Petersen, by then Secretary of the German Archaeological Institute, and Angelo Pasqui, who later became State Archaeologist, proposed further exploration of the site. Their proposal was approved.

1903 July
The first official excavation of the Ara Pacis site began, directed by Mariano Cannizzaro, archaeologist, and Angiolo Pasqui, engineer, with advice from Eugen Petersen. Most importantly, the foundation of the Ara Pacis was measured, establishing its groundplan for the first time, with entrances in the centers of the east and west fronts. Additional major and smaller fragments were excavated. These included the 2 fragments of Roma, important fragments of the scrolling acanathus friezes, and an important fragment of Augustus and adjacent figures. A major section of the flamines slab was photographed, but not excavated.

1903 July
Publication of  a report on the excavation of the Ara Pacis by director of the project, Angiolo Pasqui: "Scavi dell'Ara Pacis Augustae", NSc, Atti della R. Accademia dei Lincei, vol. 27 (1903), pp. 549-674. Pasqui here published the famous drawing of a hypothetical reconstruction of a section of wooden fencing with festoons and ox skulls, suggesting that such a fencing might have served as the model for the design of the interior of the precinct walls of the Ara Pacis.

1903 ca. October
Because of structural problems, resulting in dangerous conditions and threat to the palaces above, excavation was not permitted to continue.

Passage of the first Italian law, drafted 2 years  previous, for the protection and conservation of "monuments, immovable properties and movable objects endowed with artistic and historic value".

1905 February
It has been suggested that some excavation of the Ara Pacis continued unofficially until Febuary 1905 (Dolari, "Ara Pacis 1938").

Publication of Karl Dissel's Der Opferzug der Ara Pacis Augustae, nebst drei Tafeln, which included the first drawing to propose a reconstruction of the entire Ara Pacis which approximates the reconstruction as we see it today. This drawing of 1904 by Joseph Drum was based on the measurements taken in 1903, which established the groundplan of the entire monument,

1907 October
Publication of an important article, "Ara Pacis Augustae", by Mariano Edoardo Cannizzaro, the second publication (after Pasqui 1903) to provide a detailed description of the results of the 1903 excavation. Cannizzaro provides measurements, 2 ground plans and 2 cross sections. This authoritative publication, by one of the directors of the 1903 excavation, convinced the Italian state to again commit to the excavation of the Ara Pacis, which had been suspeded less than a year after begun in 1903.

Publication of a major early article with new photographs and identifications: "Zur Ara Pacis Augustae", by Johannes Sieveking. All of the illustrations, with literal translation of the captions, are available on this website.

An official master plan for the city of Rome first proposes liberating the Mausoleum of Augustus from its post-ancient structures.

"Provinces of the Empire" exhibtiion, held in honor of the 50th anniversary of Rome as capital of a united Italy. Organized by Lanciani, the main purpose was to show the geographical range and influence of the empire. Held in the Baths of Diocletian, the room devoted to Augustus displayed a few fragments of a corner of the precinct wall from the Ara Pacis, recomposed for the first time. This was a temporary exhibition but led to the creation in 1927 of the Museo dell'Impero Romano (Museum of  the Roman Empire).

Publication of "Città vecchia ed edilizia nuova" by Gustavo Giovannoni (1873-1947), an influencial article promoting the significance of Italy's artistic and historic heritage and the importance of its conservation. In his major studies of urban renewal Giovannoni stressed the diversity of  the historic city center.

1914 & 1924
Discovery of major fragments of a Latin text of the Res gestae at Antiochia (present-day Yalvac, Turkey) by Scottish scholar William Ramsey.

1918 Dec. 22
Plan for the gathering of pieces of the Ara Pacis already uncovered and for the complete extraction and reconstruction of the Ara Pacis Augustae. This plan was presented by Oreste Mattirolo (Professor of Botany, University of Turin) to the Società Piedmontesa di Archeologia e Bell Arti (Piedmontese Society of Archaeology and Fine Arts), (see Kallis, 2011, p.817).

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1925 - 1939
Primary Excavation and Reconstruction

Founding of the Istituto di Studi Romani (Institute of Roman Studies).

1926 April 20 (designated the "Birthday of Rome")
The Department of Antiquities authorized the excavation of the Mausoleum of Augustus.

1926 - 1930
Limited excavations carries out in area of the Mausoleum of Augustus, supervised by Giulio Quirino Giglioli, who was to become one of the chief archaeologists of the fascist regime.

1926 Nov.
Major article by a day-by-day participant in the 1903 excavation, Giulio Emanuele Rizzo, with information, diagrams, and photographs not previosuly available; “Per la Ricostruzione dell” Ara Pacis Augustae”.
All of the illustration with literal translations of the captions are on this website. 

Opening of the first Museo dell'Impero Romano (Museum of the Roman Empire) in part of the disused convent of S. Ambrogio. The exhibits were curated by Giulio Quirino Giglioli, whose concept of Romanità, the spirit of Rome, so influenced later Roman exhibitions and museums. In 1929 the museum was moved to a larger building west of the Circus Maximus.

1928 June 15
Official renouncement to the state, by Roberto and Saul Almagia, then owners of the Palazzo Fiano-Almagia, of rights to ownership of fragments of the Ara Pacis under the foundations of their palazzo (see Kallis, 2011, pp.817- 818

Presentation of a paper by Giulio Quirino Giglioli at the second congress of the Istituto di Studi Romani (Institute of Roman Studies)  proposing  extensive celebrations in 1937 to commemorate the 2000-year anniversary of Augstus' birth (23 Sept. 63 BCE), the Bimillenario Augusteo. This proposal was adopted by Italian fascist authorities.

International Congress of Athens ("First International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Histroic Monuments, Athens 1931") which adopted:
The Athens Charter for the Restoration of Historic Monuments.
Available on the web from ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites.
In this landmark charter, in addition to the many general recommnedations, a few specific statements are of special relevance for later decisions and policies in Rome and as a context for treatment of the Ara Pacis Augustae.
"The experts hear various communications concerning the use of modern materials for the consolidation of ancient monuments. They approved the judicious use of all the resources at the disposal of modern technique and more especially of reinforced concrete."
"They specified that this work of consolidation should whenever possible be concealed in order that the aspect and character of the restored monument may be preserved."
"In the case of ruins, scrupulous conservation is necessary, and steps should be taken to reinstate any original fragments that may be recovered (anastylosis), whenever this is possible; the new material used for this purpose should in all cases be recognizable. When the preservation of ruins brought to light in the course of excavation is found to be impossible, the Conference recommends that  they be buried, accuarte records being of course taken before filling-in operations are undertaken."
"With regard to other monuments, the experts unanimously agreed that, before any consolidation or partial restoration is undertaken, a thorough analysis shoud be made of the defects and the nature of the decay of these monuments. They recognized that each case needed to be treated individually."

"Carta Italiana del Restaurauro 1932".
Drafted by the Supreme Council of Antiquities and Fine Arts. Based on the structure and contents of the 1931 Athens Charter, to which the Italians were major contributors, this 1932 charter was also inspired by the work of Gustavo Giovannoni (1873-1947), often considered the most important theoretician of conservation in Italy between the 2 world wars.
Text of the document available on the web from the Soprintendenza per i Beni Architettonici.

1932 March 24
A plan was devised for the demolition of  the buildings surrounding the Mausoleum of Augustus.

1932 April
Antonio Muñoz was put in charge of the restoration of the Mausoleum of Augustus. Muñoz held a number of official positions in the Fascist government, was involved in urban renewal and one of Italy’s foremost restorers of ancient structures (for Muñoz’s philosophy of conservation see Kostoff 1978, p.287, and Kallis 2011, p.813).

1932 May 2
The plan for the demolition of  the buildings surrounding the Mausoleum of Augustus was approved by royal decree.

1934 October 22
The ritual of the primo colpo di piccone (first stroke of the pick) performed by Mussolini himself, beginning demolition of the area surrounding the Mausoleum of Augustus. Mussolini declared that the structures surrounding the Mausoleum would be demolished to liberate the monument from the crowded buildings that had grown up over recent centuries, to recapture the ancient remains and their historical significance and to bring the conditions of hygiene and traffic up to modern standards.

Vittorio Ballio Morpurgo was chosen to create the design of the Piazza Augusto Imperatore, the surrounding streets and new Fascist buildings. Major decisions outside of Morpurgo’s control were made by Muñoz and, especially in the final year, by Mussolini (the long, complicated evolution of Morpurgo’s plans is told by Kostoff, 1978, pp. 289ff).

Excavation of the Ara Pacis Augustae began, under the Palazzo Fiano-Almagià.

Morpurgo presented his first comprehensive design for the Piazza Augusto Imperatore.

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Cesar Brandi (1906-1988) moved to Rome to become Director of Antiquities and Fine Arts..

Morpurgo’s project for the Piazza Augusto was published. It did not include the Ara Pacis pavilion, which Mussolini had not yet specified.

1936 May 10
Mussolini’s proclamation of the Italian Empire.

1936 May 13
The last concert was held at the Mausoleum, which had been Rome’s symphony hall, the Augusteo, since 1907.

Following a few minor interventions, complete destruction of the area surrounding the Mausoleum began. Only the churches were allowed to remain. This destruction included the buildings on the narrow piece of land between the Tiber embankment and Via di Ripetta, the eventual site of the 1938 Ara Pacis pavilion, and 70 years later the Museo dell’Ara Pacis.
Aerial photos and diagrams of this area are available on this web site.

Foundations laid for new buildings on the east and north sides of the Piazza Augusto Imperatore, which became the Instituto Nazionale Fascista della Previdenza Sociale. 
Photos of the Instituto buildings are available on this web site.

1937 Jan. 20
An official study was begun into plans for the Ara Pacis Augustae. Recreating the Ara Pacis in its original position had been rejected, because this would have required the destruction of the Fiano-Almagià palace, which had been constructed partly on top of the monument. One proposal was to exhibit portions of the Ara Pacis in a museum; another plan called for reconstruction of the entire monument. Alternative locations were also considered; including inside the Museo delle Terme, inside the Mausoleum of Augustus, in a small, new museum next to the Mausoleum, etc.

1937 February
The Council of Ministers decreed that the complex excavation of the Ara Pacis beneath the Palazzo Fiano-Almagià was to be resumed. Giuseppe Moretti, the Superintendent for Cultural Heritage of Rome and Latium, was appointed Director. The work was entrusted to the Milan firm of Engineer Rodio. In order to excavate under the Palazzo, which in places even rested on the Ara Pacis, Rodio & Co. and the Soprintendenza decided to use a technologically advanced procedure that required freezing the ground to excavate below existing masonry buildings (the steps involved in the full excavation procedure are described in Rossini, 2006, p.17; and in greater detail with additional images in Moretti, 1948, esp. pp. 55-68).

The base on which the precinct walls and sacrificial altar stood was not removed but was carefully measured so that a duplicate could be built as part of the reconstructed monument. Notably, the podium, still largely covered in its marble sheets, was discovered in its entirety and reconstructed in its new 1938 location.

1937 February
Giovanni Bottai, Ministry of National Education, was appointed to arrange the return of processional relief slabs of the Ara Pacis in the collections of the Uffizi, Vatican, and Louvre, and festooned interior slabs from the Palazzo Medici (by then the French Embassy). That year the slabs from the Uffizi were returned, but it was necessary to make casts of the other slabs, which Bottai was unable to obtain, partly because of the extreme time presure (the Vatican slab was donated and replaced on the monument in 1954; the Louvre slab remains on display in the Louvre; the Palazzo Medici slabs remain embedded in the interior courtyard facade of the Villa de'Medici).

1937 March - December
Excavation of the Ara Pacis resumed and continued until December.

1937 April 29
The especially well-preserved section of the flamines slab from the south side processional frieze, which had been photographed under the Palazzo Fiano in 1903, was excavated and removed. Other important fragments were soon also removed. 
Photos of this flamines section are available on this web site.  

Excavated fragments were moved to the laboratories of the Museo Nazionale Romano alla Terme, where they were joined with previously acquired slabs and slabs and fragments from the 1903 excavation, already under study at the museum.

In the reconstruction of the monument, Petersen’s 1902 and 1903 plans were followed for the most part, though with some changes. Because of the extreme pressure of time, many aspects of the reconstruction had to be hypothetical. Nevertheless, the entire process and results was a remarkable achievement of Italian archaeology, most notably of Moretti and his outstanding collaborator, Guglielmo Gatti. With time for more extended research, recent scholars have begun pointing out mistakes that resulted and proposing more likely placement of parts.

1937 July 21
An Instituto Luce - Cinecittà newsreel "Preparativi per la mostra augustea della romanità", is on the web through YouTube. This shows preparations for the Augustan Exhibition of the Roman World (Mostra Augustea della Romanità), featuring a model of the Coliseum.

1937 Sept. 23
The official opening of the Augustan Bimillenary celebration, the Bimillenario Augusteo.
On this day, Mussolini’s decision was announced to erect the Ara Pacis Augustae on the high ground along the Lungotevere in Augusta within a glass pavilion between the Lungotevere and Ripetta.
Sept. 1937 – Sept. 1938 was designated the Augustan Year, which including a vast exhibition.

1937 Sept. 23
Publication of a new, critical edition of Augustus's Res gestae, by Concetta Barini, edited by the Accademia dei Lincei, in the series of the Scriptores graeci et latini. This edition was sponsored by Mussolini and used for the inscription carved into the east wall of the 1938 Ara Pacis pavilion, retained as part of the 2006 Musee dell'Ara Pacis.
Photographs of this entire inscription are available on this web site.

1937 September 29
An Instituto Luce – Cinecittà newsreel “La mostra augustea della romanità” is on the web through YouTube. This shows the Augustan Exhibition of the Roman World (Mostra Augustea della Romanità) in the Palazzo della Esposizioni, including several rooms with their statues and the newly created model of the monumental center of ancient Rome.

1937 November
Morpurgo's final design for the pavilion to house the Ara Pacis was presented to the Ripartizone V of the Governatorate.

1937 Dec. 1
An Instituto Luce – Cinecittà newsreel “Il trasporto di frammenti dell'Ara Pacis a Roma per volere del Duce in occasione del bimillenario” is on the web through YouTube. This shows major reliefs from the Ara Pacis, including the Tellus and processional relief, being pried off the walls of the Uffizi, crated and removed for transport to Rome.

1937 December 27
After difficult negotiations, the 6 Ara Pacis reliefs from the Uffizi are returned to Rome. Partly because of the extreme time pressure, negotations for the return of a slab from the Louvre and slabs from the Vatican Museum and Villa Medici and a fragment from Vienna were not successful.

Creation and opening of the Mostra Augustea della Romanità (Augustan Exhibition of the Roman World) in the Palazzo della Esposizioni (Palace of Exhibitions) under the direction of Giulio Quirino Giglioli.

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1938 March 16, March 30
Newsreels showing the reliefs of the Ara Pacis still propped up for study in the Museo Nazionale Romano alle Terme, with only 6 months left before the rededication of the Ara Pacis, as part of the closing ceremony of the Bimillenium Celebration. Giuseppe Moretti with distinguished visitors.

March 16 Archivio Storico Luce newsreel, “Il ministro Bottai e il Governatore di Roma in visita ai lavori di restauro dei frammenti”, on the web through YouTube.

March 30 Archivo Storico Luce newsreel, “Il re visita lo stato dei lavori in corso sull'Ara Pacis di Augusto", on the web through YouTube.

In reconstructing the Ara Pacis, plaster casts were made of the missing relief panels at the Louvre, Vatican, and Villa de Medici. Many of the missing section of the scrolling acanthus friezes and interior festoon panels were cast from surviving portions or, in some cases, recreated. The 18th century additions were retained. 
Photos of these 18th century additions are available on his web site.
To integrate surviving fragments of figures etc. in the Luperal and Roma reliefs, portions of the most likely images were incised and drawn into their mortar surfaces, though clearly distinguishing them from the originl marble. Details of these added lines are available on this web site.

Because of the pressure of time, it was necessary to forgo meticulous study and restoration of all details. To create as much continuity as possible, some joins were forced. The original marble and reconstructed plaster were more integrated than in later restoration practice, some surfaces coated. Because a decision had been made that a complete and integrated monument should be reconstructed, major sections of the sacramental altar had to be entirely hypothetically reconstructed.
Photos and diagrams distinguishing the sections of the sacrificial altar are available on this web site.

The reconstruction was carried out under the direction of the Superintendent of Classical Antiquity assisted by the laboratory of the National Museum in Rome.

1938 July
The building yard for the pavilion was finally given to the contractor, Ditta Vaselli. Construction began though occasionally delayed by late provision of building materials. The pavilion was constructed in just 3 months.

Morpurgo was removed from control of the design, which was then erected by a committee of engineers, loosely following Morpurgo's design. The spacing of piers and glass on the 4 facades was altered and concrete and artificial porphyry used instead of travertine and marble, all presumably to make it possible to complete the building in time for the closing ceremony.
Photos of the pavilion as constructed are available on this web site.

1938 July 13
Giuseppe Moretti, Superintendent of Antiquities and Fine Arts of Rome (Soprintendente alle Antichità e Belle Arti di Roma) wrote to the Royal Superintendent of Antiquities (Regia Soprintendenza alle Antichità) stating that he was ready to begin transporting lower level of the Ara Pacis, the basic frame and floral decorations, to its reconstruction site. Importantly, Moretti also describes the considerable amount of work yet to be done, delays encountered,  and the importance of precision and time required (document quoted by Dolari in “Ara Pacis 1938”, Engramma).

1938 Aug. 25
The contract was given for inscribing the entire Res Gestae Divi Augusti, with inserted bronze letters, into the travertine east wall of the pavilion, beside the Via di Ripeta. With less than a month before the closing ceremony, the inscription could not be finished until the next year or two. The finished inscription required the casting of slightly over 15,000 bronze letters.
Photographs of this entire inscription are available on this web site.

1938 Sept. 23
Inauguration of the revived Ara Pacis Augustae by Mussolini, as part of the official closing celebrations for the Augustan Bimillenary (Bimillenario Augusteo).

1938 Sept. 28
An Instituto Luce – Cinecittà newsreel “L'inaugurazione dell'Ara Pacis nel nuovo assetto urbanistico” is on the web through YouTube. This shows the official arrival of Mussolini and other officials, accompanied by Moretti, for the rededication of the Ara Pacis Augustae in its new pavilion, as part of the closing ceremony of the Augustan Year, the 2000 year anniversary of Augustus' birth. Excellent exterior and interior views of the pavilion, with details of the newly reconstructed Ara Pacis.

1938 Nov. 7
The government formed a committee to examine ways to confer a more monumental character to the Ara Pacis than had been possible under the time and financial constraints of the previous year. However, because of the war, no such changes were made.

Cesare Brandi (1906-1988) called to Rome to found and become first director of the Central Institute for Restoration in Rome (Istituto Centrale per il Restauro [ICR], now Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro).

Publication of a small, scholarly guidebook, by the Ministry of National Education, L’Ara Pacis Augustae, by Giuseppe Moretti. English and German translations were published at the same time. Moretti’s landmark, comprehensive, 2-volume publication on the Ara Pacis was not published until 1948, but this 1939 guidebook is an invaluable record of the Ara Pacis in 1939 by the archaeologist in charge of the excavation and reconstruction of the monument.

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1940 - 1990
World War II and Later Restoration

1940 June 10
Entry of Italy into World War II.
Soon thereafter the large glass walls of the 1938 pavilion were removed and stored off-site in the San Lorenzo district. For protection, the Ara Pacis was completely covered with bags of volcanic ash, later protected with an anti-shrapnel wall.

1940 June 25
An Instituto Luce – Cinecittà newsreel "Lavori per la protezione delle opere d'arte della Capitale" is on the web through YouTube. This shows the air defense measures being taken throughout Rome to protect ancient monument from bombing. It includes the stacking of sandbags, or bags of volcanic ash, around the Ara Pacis.

Construction completed of the Collegio degli Illirici on the south side of the Piazza Augusto Imperatore, finally completing the 4 new Morpurgo-designed buildings surrounding the Mausoleum of Augustus.

1943 July 19

The large glass walls of the 1938 pavilion, which had been removed and stored off-site in the San Lorenzo district, were shattered by Allied bombs.

1945 April 29
German forces surrender in Italy. Instruments of surrender signed in Reims, May 7 and ratified at the German unconditional surrender in Berlin, May 8. Miraculously, the Ara Pacis Augustae and the pavilion in which it was housed survive the war with only minor damage.

1948 toward end of year
Ten years after the reconstruction of the Ara Pacis and following the death of Moretti in 1945, his landmark, deluxe, 2 volume account of the excavation and reconstruction of the Ara Pacis Augustae, of which he had been in charge, was published.  Giuseppe Moretti, Ara Pacis Augustae; Roma: La Libreria dello Stato, 1948. Although the volumes were published posthumously, Moretti had corrected the final proofs before he died in 1945. Whatever its shortcomings in hindsight, this publication was a major achievement and will remain the foundation publication for all later studies of the monument.
32 of the prints and photographs are available on this website.

Questions about the future location of the Ara Pacis remained unresolved. The High Council of Antiquity & the Fine Arts (Consiglio Superiore delle Anrtichità e Belle Arti) proposed a competition for the best idea to resolve the debate over whether or not to move the Ara Pacis to a different location;  and if so where to, and if not how best to house the monument in its present location.

The comune ordered provisional repairs to the Ara Pacis pavilion to guarentee that the monument, still hidden in its bomb shelter, would be open to scholars and the publc in time for the Annus Sanctus of 1950. The ordered repairs consisted of repairing the roof, removing the anti-shrapnel shelter, rebuilding the 1938 entablature of the Ara Pacis (which had been damaged during the construction of the bomb shelter), constructing a 15-foot wall between the pillars, and removing the floor-to-ceiling glass panels.

1950 early
Exhibition held of the projects submitted for the competition announced in 1949.

The anti-shrapnel wall around the Ara Pacis was removed. The hypothetically constructed entablature of the Ara Pacis, which had been damaged by the WWII protective structure, was replaced. In 1938 it had originally been constructed over a wooden frame to reduce weight on the walls. The lower 5 feet (4.50 meters) of the previous glass wall areas of the 1938 pavilion, between its piers, were filled with fake travertine walls, Above this the walls were open to the outside air, allowing urban pollution to blow freely onto the monument. Comparative photographs with captions are available on this website.

Publication of Cesare Brandi's seminal essay, "Il restauro dell'opera d'arte secondo l'istanza estetica o dell'artisticità".

Publication of J. M. C. Toynbee, The Ara Pacis Reconsidered and Historical Art in Roman Italy. This was the first comprehensive review of the Ara Pacis following Moretti’s 2 volume landmark publication of 1948. Toynbee’s publication remains a model of scholarship.  
38 illustrations with captions are available on this web site.

1954 Feb. 17
The relief panel now at the farthest right of the north side processional frieze was donated to Italy by the Vatican and restored to the monument. This was one of the pieces found under the Palazzo Fiano in 1568. It had found its way to the Vatican, where it had been on display in the Vatican Museum.
A high resolution image of the entire north side processional frieze is available on this website - this relief panel at far right.
An Archivio Storico Luce newsreel "Anniversario della Concillazione" is on the web through YouTube. This shows the signing of the official document of presentation.

Publication of an article by Heinz Kähler, “Die Front der Ara Pacis”, in which he proposed designs for the lost friezes that once adorned the sacrificial altar. Based on a detailed study of the surviving fragments of small figures and drapery, Kähler’s proposal, though necessarily hypothetical, is to date the only scholarly proposal for the appearance of these lost reliefs.
One drawing from this publication, suggesting the original size and placement of figures on reliefs on the back of the sacrificial altar, is reproduced on this web site.

Purchase by the Italian State of the seat of the College of Jesuits (formerly the palace of the former Collegio Massimo) "for the enhancement of the archaeological heritage of Rome". The Palazzo Massimo alle Terme museum opened to the public in 1998.

Publication of Cesare Brandi's landmark collection of essays, Teoria del Restauro (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1963). Brandi was the most influencial 20th century Italian theorist  of conservation and restoration.

La Carta di Venezia (Venice Charter)
Second International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Monuments.
The congress met in Venice 25-31 May 1964 issuing a charter emphasizing the importance of the history of a monument and the conservation of the urban environment surrounding monumental buildings.

The Minister of Public Education declared his intent to refuse the relocation of the Ara Pacis. The Comune di Roma then proposed the refurbishing of the pavilion, stipulating that new glass windows should be installed between the pillars, as in the original 1938 structure. Above all, this would protect the monument from the urban pollution which had poured unrestrained through the windowless walls since 1951.

For years it had been clear that the Ara Pacis was in a precarious state, suffering from pollution and vibration from increasingly heavy traffic. Examination had shown that the main slabs were even beginning to fall off their supporting walls. Moreover, the 5 foot (4.50 meters) tall fake-travertine outside walls above the base of the pavilion made the Ara Pacis invisible from outside and poorly lit inside.

1970 April 24
The municial government accepted the offer of the Rotary Club of South Rome to provide for the refurbishing of the Ara Pacis pavilion with its own funds. They were joined by other Rotary Club branches in Rome and by several banks, agencies, institutions, associations and individuals. The principle improvement was the installation of new glass walls to make the Ara Pacis once more visible from outside, improve lighting within, and protect the monument from urban pollution. 
Comparative images with captions are available on this website.

1970 July 6 - Oct. 10
Refurbishing the the Ara Pacis pavilion carried out, coordinated by Dr. Antonio Tranquilli, Secretary of the Rotary Club of South Rome, in collaboration with the departments of the Comune di Roma.

Carta Italiana del 1972 (Italian Charter of 1972).
An expansion of previous Italian conservation charters to include individual works of art, buildings, historic centers, parks and environments.

Official acceptance of a major doctoral dissertation by John Pollini, Studies in Augustan “Historical” Reliefs, University of California, Berkeley. Pollini concentrates on three well-preserved monuments, the statue of Augustus from Prima Porta, the Ara Pacis, and the Gamma Augustae. He provides essential context for the Ara Pacis and other reliefs of the Augustan age and makes several highly original suggestions about the Ara Pacis, which scholars have accepted. This thesis has served as the basis for many following discussions of the Ara Pacis.

Publication of a pioneering article by Diana Kleiner, developing the essential connection between the representation of family groups on the Ara Pacis and the innovatve social policies of Augustus: “The Great Friezes of the Ara Pacis Augustae: Greek sources, Roman derivatives, and Augustan Social Policy”.

Publication of the most penetrating study of the Facist redesign of the entire Piazzale Augusto Imperatore and reconstruction of the Ara Pacis within a new pavilion: Spiro Kostof, “The Emperor and the Duce: The Planning of Piazzale Augusto Imperatore in Rome”.

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In spite of improvements made to the pavilion in 1970 and minor repairs to the Ara Pacis, it was clear that the monument was still in precarious condition and in need of major restoration.
The Ara Pacis was partly dismantled and cleaned, iron pivots supporting some of the projecting parts of the reliefs were replaced, fractures in the mortar were repaired, previous restorations were consolidated, non-original parts were colored flat and uniform to distinguish them from original marble.

It was decided that the head placed by Moretti at the upper-right of the Aeneas relief to represent Achates was too large in comparison with other heads in the relief and was thus removed. Returning to the opinion published by Studnicka in 1909, it was proposed that the head represented Honos and would originally have been at the upper-right of the goddess Roma relief. It has not been inserted but is currently on display in a case in the lower level of the Musee dell’Ara Paics. A series of images, with captions tracing changes to this head are available on this web site.

Supervised by Romana De Angelis Bertolotti, study began of the hundreds of fragments thought possibly to have come from the Ara Pacis. Some 124 were identified as having come from the scrolling acanthus friezes. Previous to the opening of the new museum in 2006, some of these originals were inserted into full-size diagrams of some of the friezes, now on display in the lower level of the museum (photographs available on this web site). Other small fragments were identified as having come from the architectural cornices, meanders, palmettes, and drapery; fewer than 10 from bodies.

Incorporating articles from 1976-1980, Edmund Buchner published a major book, Die Sonnenuhr des Augustus. This was based on excavations in the summers of 1979 and 1980, which he had led, conducted by the German Archaeological Institute. Buchner had discovered in a basement of a shop in Via Campo Marzio an Augustan meridian with inscription, running northward from the location of the Egyptian Obelisk installed by Augustus on the Campus Martius. This meridian had allowed the length of the sun’s shadow falling on the pavement each day at about noon to be traced throughout the year. For years, most scholars also accepted Buchner’s hypothesis that this was part of a vast sundial, the so-called “Solarium” or “Horologium” on which the progress of the sun was traced throughout each day. Many scholar also accepted Buchner’s idea that the orientation of the Ara Pacis was determined by the fall of the shadow from the sundial.
Four of the key illustrations from Buchner’s publication, with his captions, are available on this website.  

1982 early
The original east front (reconstructed facing north in the 1938 pavilion) of the Ara Pacis was carefully studied, cleaned, and restored. The exemplary 1983 publication of this study and restoration are described under 1983 in this  web chronology with links to images of the pages.

The Ara Pacis Augustae was studied and conserved in a series of treatments by the private conservation group Conservazione Beni Culturali (CBC). Dr Laura Cafiero of the Sovrintendenza del Comune di Roma was in charge. No significant changes to Moretti’s 1938 reconstruction design were attempted, but portions of the Ara Pacis were dismantled, iron pins removed, and some 600 small and medium size fragments were relocated on the monument, mostly in 1984. The monument was consolidated, cleaned, and non-original parts recolored. The structure and condition of the monument were thoroughly studied for the first time and documented. An exemplary report of a few aspects of this study was written by Giovanni Martellotti, “Reconstructive Restoration of Roman Sculpture: Three Case Studies”, published in 2003.
The 8 photographs of the Ara Pacis from this article with captions and brief texts are available on this web site.

Model report published of the 1982 study and restoration of the original east front of the Ara Pacis, by the Conservazione Beni Culturali (CBC), Rome: “L’Intervento di Restauro della Fronte Orientale dell’Ara Pacis Augustae”, by Vivian Ruesch and Bruno Zanardi, in Ara Pacis Augustae: In occasione del restauo della fronte orientale, ed. Eugenio la Rocca.
Eleven diagrams plus eleven photographs from this publication, with descriptive captions, are available on this web site.

Publication of “Programma Figurativo dell’Ara Pacis Augustae”, by Eugene La Rocca, in Ara Pacis Augustae: in occasione del restauro della fronte orientale, by Eugene La Rocca; Roma: L'Erma di Bretschneider, 1983; pp. 9-60.

Publication of the now classic book by Paul Zanker, Augustus und die Macht der Bilder; Munich: Beck (English translation, The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus, trans. Alan Shapiro; Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press,1989). This immediately became the basic text for study of the new imagery of the Augustan age, created to present the princeps and his programs to the entire populous.

Basic articles by G.M. Koeppel, providing systematic study of all the then-known changes to the Ara Pacis and comprehensive pre-1987 bibliography: “Die historischen Reliefs der römischen Kaiserzeit, V. Ara Pacis Augustae. Teil I” and "Teil 2".

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1990 - 2006
Creation of the New Museum and Restoration of the Ara Pacis

A study conducted of the physical condition of the Ara Pacis Augustae noted serious problems. Interior iron clamps had become wet and were expanding and fracturing the marble from the inside. A series of micro-fractures had opened in the mortar, caused by the sudden changes in temperature and humidity. A layer of greasy and acidic dust was being deposited over all the surface of the Ara Pacis because of the rapid increase in traffic pollution.

A study of the 1938 pavilion concluded that, even though new windows had been installed in 1970, the pavilion could not be sufficiently improved to protect the monument.
Photos of the pavilion at various stages are available on this website

It was concluded that the Ara Pacis was in such desperate physical condition that it could be preserved only with major changes to the monument and its protective building.

The first publication to build extensively on the 1962  article by L'Orange on "The Floral Zone of the Ara Pacis Augustae". Pollini developed in depth the complex meaning of the scrolling acanthus friezes on the Ara Pacis and describes their powerful design and visual importance on the monument: John Pollini, “The Acanthus of the Ara Pacis as an Apolline and Dionysiac Symbol of Anamorphosis, Anakyklosis, and Numen Mixtum”.

1994 & 1999
Major publications by Niels Hannestad, providing detailed evidence for late antique reworking of Roman sculpture includng the Ara Pacis.

The superintendent of cultural heritage for the City of Rome, Eugenio La Rocca, had determined that the Ara Pacis could not be moved without severe damage. Consideration was thus given to constructing a new building to replace Morpurgo’s 1938 pavilion.

At the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland, Francesco Rutelli, then mayor of Rome, approached architect Richard Meier about designing a new structure to house the Ara Pacis. By avoiding a time-consuming competition, Rutelli hoped to have the new building ready for the international year 2000 celebration.

1996 Spring
The Comune of Rome commissioned Richard Meier to design a new museum for the Ara Pacis Augustae. The fact that no open competition had been held became a major cause of complaint.

The many problems facing all decisions regarding the design of a new museum and the justifiable but often conflicting values of concerned historians, conservators, architects, city planners, government agencies, and the public, are clearly set forth by Orietta Rossini in her museum guidebook (Rossini, 2006, pp.119-120).

1996 & 2000
Now classic publications by Karl Galinsky, providing arguably the best brief descriptions of the Ara Pacis, describing the multifaceted concepts embodied in the monument and their role in Augustan culture.

Publication of a book by Diane Atnally Conlin, The Artists of the Ara Pacis: The Process of Hellenization in Roman Relief Sculpture, including a detailed examination of the "technical signatures left by chisel, drills, and other tools", and calling attention to the importance of restoration in altering the original appearance of the monument. Includes a thorough account of the physical history of the processional friezes. Approximately 250 large, gray-scale photographs of the Ara Pacis and related material.

The Palazzo Masimo alle Terme opened to the public as part of the Roman National Museum, including a room dedicated to Augustus and to the geneology of the Gens Julia.

1999 March 1
An archaeological report submitted to Superintendent Eugenio La Rocca noted the inadequacy of the hastily and cheaply built 1938 pavilion and the severe conditions causing the deterioration of the Ara Pacis Augustae, concluding that there was an urgent need for a radical intervention to preserve the monument.

The 1938 pavilion was closed to the public and remained closed until the new Museo dell’Ara Pacis was opened in 2006.

The Ministers for Cultural Heritage (Beni Culturali) approved Meier’s design.

At various times during the years 1999-2002 work was suspended so that studies could be carried out. They consisted primarily of taking core samples and excavating to determine if ancient structures or remains of the 18th century Porto di Ripetta were in danger. Major changes in the design of the new museum’s foundations were the primary result.

Construction work was approved and contracted.

To protect the monument during destruction of the 1938 pavilion and construction of the new museum, a highly protective structure with highest quality packing was built around the Ara Pacis Augustae.

2000 Autumn - 2001 Summer
Morpurgo’s pavilion was torn down, with the exception of the east wall along the Via di Ripetta, on which the Res gestae had been inscribed in 1938-39. This was protected and incorporated as part of the new museum.
Photos avaiable on this website.

Publication of an article by Paul Rehak, "Aeneas or Numa? Rethinking the Meaning of the Ara Pacis Augustae", a comprehensive review of evidence arguing that the relief taditionally identified as Aeneas sacrificing instead represents Numa Pompilius, second king of Rome.
Photos of the Numa / Aeneas panel available on this website.

Publication of Ara Pacis: contro-progetti = counter proposals, edited by Samir Younés, director of the Rome Studies Program at the University of Notre Dame’s architectural school; presenting arguments against Meier’s project underway and provided counter proposals (Younés, 2002).

Publication of an article by Simone Foresta, demonstrating that slabs on both the north and south side processional friezes had been incorrectly joined or spaced in the hurried 1938 reconstruction, and suggesting convincing realignments (Foresta, 2002).

2003 Spring
Construction of the new museum began with the laying of new foundation beds.

The east wall of  the museum, along the Via di Ripetta, in which the Res gestae had been inscribed in 1938-39, was repaired, consolidated, cleaned, and lost bronze letters replaced. An account of the complex history of Augustus' text and photos of  the 1938-39 wall with inscribed text and inset bronze letters are available on this website.

Publication of a paper by Giovanna Martellotti, "Reconstructive Restorations of Roman Sculptures: Three Case Studies", in History of Restoration of Ancient Stone Sculptures; Papers from a Symposium, October 2001, J. Paul Getty Museum (Martellotti, 2003). The author discussed the study and restoration of 3 Roman sculptures, most extensively the Ara Pacis Augustae. Includes 8 revealing gray-scale photographs of Ara Pacis details, carefully described, available on this website.

2005 September
The protective structure and packing around the Ara Pacis Augustae were removed, making it visible again after 5 years.

2005 Sept. 23
Official opening of the Museo dell'Ara Pacis.

Restoration and cleaning of the Ara Pacis.

2006 April
The Museo dell’Ara Pacis was dedicated and the museum opened to the public. Major displays of fragments, related sculpture and casts, a new model of the Ara Pacis, wall texts, a highly informative, interactive video, and other materials were placed on display in the lower level of the museum.
Photos of original fragments and related sculpture available on this website.

Publication of a 136 page guide to the Ara Pacis and museum, Ara Pacis, by Orietta Rossini, Director of the Museo dell’Ara Pacis. Separately published in several languages with some 150 high-quality illustrations, this book immediately became the most comprehensive, up-to-date publication on the Ara Pacis Augustae (republished 2007, 2009).

2006 Nov. 25
Announcement that the architect Francesco Cellini and his team have won the international competition for redesign and development of the Piazza Augusto imperator, Mausoleum of Augustus, and immediately surrounding area.

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2006 - 2011
Following the 2006 Opening of the Museo dell'Ara Pacis

Research was carried out on the original colors of the Ara Pacis Augustae, conducted for the Superintendency of Culture Heritage of the City of Rome by the Scientific Laboratories of the Vatican Museums and University of Tuscia, Viterbo.

2009 March 11
An international conference, ““I colori di Augusto”, was held in the auditorium of the Museo dell’Ara Pacis. The conference included 11 papers by international authorities on various aspects of the polychrome of ancient monuments.
Information and abstracts available on the web [under “press release” (“communicato stampa").

2009 Nov. 22
First demonstration, at the Museo dell’Ara Pacis, of innovative color projection on the Ara Pacis Augustae, based on chemical and spectroscopic analysis carried out by the Scientific Laboratories of the Vatican Museum. Beginning the next year, a regular schedule was adopted for this demonstration open to the public.
Photos available on this website.

Publication of a cross-disciplinary study by a Professor of Botany, Giulia Caneva: Il Codice Botanico di Augusto; Roma – Ara Pacis; parlare al popolo attraverso le immagini della natura. The Augustan Botanical Code; Rome – Ara Pacis; speaking to the people through the images of nature. The author identifies and discusses some 80 plants represented on the scrolling acanthus friezes and suggests design schemes and alternative original colors.

A plan was put forward to radically restructure the areas to the west and east of the Museo dell’Ara Pacis. On the west side of the museum, the Lungotevere in Augusta is to be lowered into an underpass, making it possible to turn the narrow area between the museum building and the Tiber embankment into a pedestrian zone and to lower part of the wall between the Lungotevere and the area in front of the museum. To the east of the museum, the Mausoleum of Augustus is to be restored and made available to the public. The land surrounding it is to be raised almost to the level of the surrounding streets, creating another green pedestrian area and helping to relate the Mausoleum more successfully to the museum and Ara Pacis within.
3-dimensional renderings of the Piazza redesign available on this web site.

2011 March
Web publication of an index, with links, to 9 scholarly papers and 4 additional items on the Ara Pacis, presented at workshops and conferences held in Venice and Rome in 2007, 2009, and 2010, and published on the web by Engramma. These papers call attention to the degree of hypothetical speculation in the 1938 reconstruction of the Ara Pacis and ask for a thorough, critical, reinvestigation of all aspects of the monument to establish the ways in which its current reconstruction is and is not based on reliable evidence.

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