ROME – Most of the tourists who have tossed coins over their shoulder into Rome’s Trevi Fountain over the past 20 years probably did not know that they were helping the city’s poor. But the Rome city government has said no more.
Beginning April 1, the city said, the coins will no longer be delivered to the Rome diocesan Caritas for funding homeless shelters, soup kitchens and parish-based services to families in difficulty.
Instead, the city plans to use the money to help with the upkeep of monuments and to fund grants to “social projects,” which are yet to be defined. It also will hire workers to sort and count the coins, something that Caritas volunteers did for free.
In 2018, the international collection of coins added up to about 1.5 million euros or about $1.7 million.
Interviewed Jan. 12 by Vatican News, Father Benoni Ambarus, director of Caritas Rome, said, “The first thing I want to say is thank you to the millions of tourists who created a sea of solidarity with their coins.”
The priest was still hoping something would change before the change dried up in April. After all, the city council voted in October 2017 to start keeping the money in city coffers, but after a public outcry, the agreement with Caritas was extended to April 2018 and again to Dec. 31, 2018.
I know this is old news, but it is new news to me. I just read that Netflix paid for Rome’s main Christmas tree in 2018.
Here’s the tree:
Sponsoring this tree was a huge expense: 370,000 Euro (about $400,000.00).
You may have heard about the 2017 Christmas tree that was a big fiasco: it lost all its needles and was a tree skeleton!
I had just never heard of an American company sponsoring a Roman (or any) Christmas tree before! It makes sense, private companies sponsor all kinds of public good works throughout the country.
I was fortunate enough to see the newly-released film, Bernini, in the Odeon Theatre in Florence this week. OMG, it is fantastic.
The director of this beautiful guided tour through the Villa Borghese in Rome was directed by Francesco Invernizzi; Anna Coliva, Luigi Ficacci, and Andrea Bacchi are key presenters. Titolo originale: Bernini. Genere Documentario – Italia, 2018.
From the movie release, we are informed: La selezione di oltre 60 capolavori in esposizione alla Villa Borghese di Roma è stata definita dagli esperti di arte come il ritorno a casa di Bernini. A cinque secoli dalla nascita dei maestosi gruppi scultorei dell’artista, attraverso riprese inedite ed esclusive, i protagonisti di questa grande Mostra raccontano ed analizzano i dettagli delle opere giunte dai più prestigiosi musei del mondo per questa straordinaria occasione.
The selection of more than 60 masterworks on exhibition at the Villa Borghese in Rome has been defined by experts as a return to the home of Bernini. Five centuries after his birth, we appreciate the majestic sculptural groups Bernini created, through the unprecedented and exclusive shots. Experts of this great exhibition recount and analyze the infinite details of the sculpture, with Bernini works borrowed from the most prestigious museums in the world for this extraordinary event.
“No artist defined 17th-century Rome more than Gian Lorenzo Bernini did, working under nine popes and leaving an indelible mark on the Eternal City. And there is probably no better place to appreciate his talent and genius than the Borghese Gallery in Rome, the villa — now a museum — built by his first patron, Cardinal Scipione Borghese, where Bernini revealed his talent for capturing tension and drama in stone. But during the remarkable exhibition titled “Bernini,” visiting may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” The New York Times
(1910 – 1998) was an Italian arts administrator, the director of the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna
(GNAM) in Rome from 1942 to 1975.
Palma Bucarelli was born in Rome. She earned a degree in art history at the Sapienza University of Rome.
As a young art historian she worked at the Galleria Borghese and in Naples. During her thirty-three years as head of the Italian National Gallery of Modern Art, Bucarelli was responsible for protecting the gallery’s collections from damage while it was closed during World War II; she arranged to place paintings and sculptures in historic buildings including the Palazzo Farnese and Castel Sant’Angelo. She was one of the Italian delegates to the First International Congress of Art Critics, held in 1948 in Paris.
After the war, she oversaw such events as exhibitions of works by Pablo Picasso (1953), Piet Mondrian (1956), Jackson Pollock (1958), Mark Rothko (1962), and the Gruppo di Via Brunetti (1968). She defended controversial works such as Piero Manzoni‘s ‘”Merda d’Artista” and Alberto Burri‘s “Sacco Grande” (1954). Her strong support for abstract and avant-garde works made international headlines in 1959, when she was accused of a bias against figurative art in a public debate. In 1961 she was in the United States, where she gave a lecture in Sarasota, Florida and attended the opening of a major exhibit on Futurism at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Palma Bucarelli married her longtime partner, journalist Paolo Monelli, in 1963. She died in Rome in 1998, from pancreatic cancer, aged 88 years. Her personal collection of art was donated to the National Gallery. Her famously elegant wardrobe was donated to the Boncompagni Ludovisi Decorative Art Museum in Rome. A street near the GNAM was renamed in her memory. The Gallery mounted a show about her influence, “Palma Bucarelli: Il museo come avanguardia”, in 2009.