Saturday, September 27, 2014

University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archaeology Partners with the Capitoline Museum of Rome

The CMA is pleased to announce a new cultural heritage initiative, in which the Capitoline Museum of Rome is partnering with US universities to document unstudied antiquities from its vast collection.

The first partner selected for the program is the University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archaeology.  Discussions have been underway for more than a year, and on Monday the project was formally announced by MU's Chancellor, representatives of the Italian Embassy, of the Cultural Heritage Superintendency of the City of Rome, and of Enel Green Power, which is underwriting the project.

The project has the potential to be a game-changer in international cultural heritage.   One of the rationalizations sometimes used for antiquities trafficking is that source countries don't allow access 
to the cultural patrimony under their control, including unstudied antiquities.  This project explicitly addresses that concern.

A collection of 249 black-gloss ceramics from the Republican Period (4th-1st centuries BC) has already been received by the Museum from the Capitoline.  Documentation-including both formal, stylistic and archaeometrics analyses-will be performed, a range of research questions addressed, and the materials returned.  Another group of antiquities will then take their place, forming an ongoing research collaboration encompassing the Museum of Art and Archaeology, the MU Department of Art History and Archaeology, and the Missouri University Research Reactor Archaeometry Laboratory.  The project allows full publication and use of the materials for research, theses and dissertations, and contemplates both exchanges of students and staff as well as exhibitions arising from the collaboration.

Missouri is serving as the pilot project, and it is hoped that similar projects can be developed with other universities in the years to come.

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