No longer ‘just’ the Temple of Hadrian but the Temple of Vibia Sabina and Adriano: from today the ancient monument in Piazza di Pietra in Rome, seat of the local Chamber of Commerce, is re-titled with the names of both the emperor and his wife, to “give women back their role in history”, as the initiative baptized today in the capital states, also accompanied by the interventions of the writer Dacia Maraini and the actor and director Gabriele Lavia. And as a precious ‘gift’ from the archaeological park of Villa Adriana, the marble statue of Vibia Sabina will remain on display for a month in the Temple of Piazza di Pietra. A complex story, that of this Roman work of art, which after a story born of clandestine excavations and illegal operations of art dealers, was exhibited until 2007 in the USA, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, before returning in the original site of Villa Adriana, thanks to the investigations carried out by the Carabinieri Command for the protection of cultural heritage and the diplomatic work carried out by the Italian State. The president of the Chamber of Commerce of Rome, Lorenzo Tagliavanti, underlines the “strong relevance for our institution, for women and for all Roman citizens” of this initiative. With the new title of the Temple of Hadrian also to Vibia Sabina, he explains , “we intend to symbolically restore to all women the role they have played in history, influencing the destinies of classical Rome as well as of the modern and contemporary world”. A role not fully recognized, not even by the institutions, given that, Lorenzo Tagliavanti still observes, “today only 4% of the squares and streets of Rome are dedicated to female characters”. : “The idea was born having a coffee with the president of the Rome Chamber of Commerce: he told me that the temple was originally dedicated not only to Adriano but also to his wife Vibia Sabina and I remembered that we had recovered a marble statue of Vibia Sabina, now returned to Villa Adriana … “. For the director of the Villa Adriana and Villa d’Este Institute in Tivoli, Antonio Bruciati,” this is an extremely important moment, marking a further stage in the path of cultural and artistic awareness of the female universe “. The Temple of Hadrian, now also named after Vibia Sabina, is the historic seat of the Rome Chamber of Commerce since 1874 in the central Piazza di Pietra, a stone’s throw from the Pantheon. (By Enzo Bonaiuto)
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