Museo dell'Ara Pacis - Interior

Front of Grand Hall

The front of the Grand Hall, seen here, corresponds to the area that would, in ancient Rome, have been immediately to the west of the Ara Pacis, on the vast parade grounds of the Campus Martius. This ceremonial front area, to which the two processional friezes on the altar are directed, would have served as the gathering area for the sacrificial ceremonies. Because the ground level fell off slightly from east to west of the Ara Pacis, a set of stairs, seen here, was required to enter the ceremonial doorway.

Some critics have objected to the intrusion of banners in this space, seen in 2 photographs below, advertising the contemporary art exhibits in the lower level. In addition, the handsome opening in the floor as one enters the grand hall, previously connecting the spaces above and below and revealing the exemplary displays of Ara Pacis material in the level below, has been covered in order to make more space for the contemporary exhibits below.

A video recording of a portion of a stunning and highly appropriate performance with projection, in the grand hall in front of the Ara Pacis, is available on You Tube: “Creazione interdisciplinare di Anna Cuocolo su Carlo Broschi detto Farinelli, al Museo Ara Pacis, Roma”; Director and Choreographer Anna Cuocolo, Visual Director Paolo Miccichè, Costumes Alberto Sopiazzi.