In 2013 a group of archaeologists performed one of the most fascinating discoveries, in Ciampino (Rome): the villa of the Ovid’s patron Messalla. Seven sculptures, which represent the myth of Niobe, one of the most known parts of the "Metamorphosis", are under restoration with Quanta lasers.
Another contribution of the El.En. Group to take to new life masterpieces of the history, for the mankind.
ROME - April 13 2015 - "One of the discoveries that happen only once in the life of an archaeologist," says Aurelia Lupi, driving under the scientific direction of Alessandro Betori team the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Lazio.
The Upper Room of the great Latin poets of the Augustan age, from Ovid to Albio Tibullus, comes back to life at the gates of Rome, in Ciampino. A discovery that archaeologists call "exceptional". It is the Roman villa attributed to Marco Valerio Messalla Corvino, consul, along with Octavian and commander at the Battle of Actium of 31 BC. But above all a patron of poets and intellectuals of the Augustan who wrote the history of classical literature. Attributed to the villa, cited by sources and whose reference to "Valerii Messallae" comes from the stamps on the pipes, is the thermal district, where environments feature fragments of mosaics. However, to confirm that it is the treasure of Messalla it could also be another environment, a few dozen meters away: the natatio, an outdoor pool over twenty meters long, with walls painted in blue. Surrounded by seven statues nearly intact, with some mutilations reconstructed, more than two meters high. A repertoire of statues illustrating the myth of Niobe and Niobe. "Statues of Niobe have been found in the past, but in the case of Ciampino the discovery is really outstanding, "said the superintendent Elena Calandra:" Seven statues of the Augustan complete, but also a series of pieces that can be reassembled." Masterpieces enact the tragedy of the myth, the punishment of the pride of Niobe. "These statues will enter the history books of classical art," added Calandra. Wonders of the circle of Messalla had to decorate the four sides of the pool and a base in lava stone at the center of the tank. Remained untouched in the earth for centuries, probably after an earthquake in the second century made them fall to the bottom of the tank. "Sculptures offer new evidence on the iconography of Niobe," says Alessandro Betori, scientific director of the excavations. "In the group there are two male figures of young people caught in the act of observing the massacre of the brothers who appear to still unpublished. No coincidence that the more vivid description of the myth of Niobe is actually located in his masterpiece, the Metamorphoses.“
“Quanta System’s laser sources have become an elective tool to restore and enhance the various works of the Messalla’s villa. At present Quanta’s lasers are restoring the seven statues, sung by Ovid, but soon they will be used also for other aged or ruined parts of the excavations. Something for which are extremely proud” said Paolo Salvadeo, CEO of the company.