One of the san casciano bronzes in situ.

San Casciano Bronzes on display in Rome

Culture News

A collection of ancient Roman votive statuettes, known as the San Casciano bronzes, was inaugurated on Thursday. The show opens today at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome.

The bronze statuettes were found at San Casciano dei Bagni in November. They reveal previously unknown links between the Etruscan and Roman worlds.

The exhibition, titled The Gods Return, runs from June 23 to July 25, and then again from September 2 to October 29, at the Quirinale palace.

Before returning home, the exhibition will go on a round-Italy tour.

San Casciano Bronzes over 2000 years old

Protected for 2,300 years by the mud and boiling water of the sacred ancient Roman pools, the never-before-seen votive array re-emerged in November from the excavations at San Casciano. There are 24 extremely finely wrought bronze statues, five of them almost one metre tall, all complete and in a perfect state of preservation.

Among the highlights of the show are a sick ephebe, a dancing Apollo, and a proud toga-garbed Haranguer. There are also a tender putto holding an apple in his hand, big-bosomed matrons, and a slew of hands, feet, arms and ears offered as votive offerings to heal maladies.

“It’s a discovery that will rewrite history and one which more than 60 experts from all over the world are already working on,” archaeologist Jacopo Tabolli told ANSA last year.

He described an “absolutely unique” treasure trove which has been accompanied by an incredible quantity of inscriptions in Etruscan and Latin – shedding new light on how much the Etruscans influenced the civilization that superseded and virtually wiped them out. There were also thousands of coins, votive offerings and a series of equally interesting plant offerings.

“The layering of different civilisations is a unique feature of Italian culture,” he enthused.

“It’s the most important discovery since the Riace Bronzes and is certainly one of the most significant discovery of bronzes ever made in the history of the ancient Mediterranean,” said the ministry’s director general of museums, Massimo Osanna.

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