Riace Bronzes, 50 years of studies and research

Underwater archeology meets ancient art, the restoration and enhancement of the territory in the year of the fiftieth anniversary of the discovery. From 10 to 12 November on the terrace of the MArRC the international conference

Over thirty researchers and scholars who have dealt with the Riace’s bronzes meet from 10 to 12 November 2022 on the terrace of the MArRC for the international conference The Riace Bronzes: 50 years of studies and research: three days of presentations, insights, new surveys and proposals around the two bronze warriors of which from July 2022 the year of the discovery is celebrated.

In what has been called the year of Calabria and Magna Graecia – with dedicated spaces in the media around the world, but also at the Metropolitan Museum in New York and at the Rome Film Fest – the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the Riace Bronzes promoted by the Calabria Region continue with an exceptional conference organized by the Regional Secretariat of the Ministry of Culture for Calabria.

Underwater archeology thus meets ancient art, the restoration and enhancement of the territory with four dedicated in-depth sections that will see great scholars, archaeologists, and more, Italians and foreigners alternate at the table.

The Riace Bronzes do not represent just two statues, but an entire cultural ecosystem, that of Magna Graecia, that of the heart of the Mediterranean. During the three days of meetings, various themes will be developed.

In the underwater archeology section, the conference presents the research campaigns that have affected the area of ​​the discovery of the Bronzes up to 29 October 2022. Among the appointments, the direct protagonists of the archaeological research investigations on the seabed in front of Riace Marina present the results to the public of research activities with a focus on an “inverse” archaeological excavation, starting from the day of discovery up to the most recent survey campaign conducted by the Regional Secretariat of the Ministry of Culture for Calabria with its underwater archaeologist officer in agreement with the departments of specialties of the Carabinieri – Carabinieri Underwater Unit of Messina, Carabinieri Underwater Training Center of Genoa and Carabinieri Unit for Cultural Heritage Protection of Cosenza.

The History of Ancient Art section of the conference proposes the studies that have been elaborated since the discovery and that do not mention pauses, testimony of the importance of the discovery of the two statues in the sea of ​​Riace and of their relevance. The Riace Bronzes: 50 years of studies and research presents the latest results, including the important contribution of very recent research in Greece with the identification of the area where the two statues were cast. A new series of studies also reveals the importance of the reconstruction of the Mediterranean routes in antiquity, supported by ever more numerous finds of wrecks with relative cargo. Two reports will address this issue by reaching important conclusions for underwater archeology.

For the restoration section, the international conference compares interdisciplinary studies for the prevention and protection of the Riace Bronzes. The history of the Riace Bronzes does not end with their discovery and recovery: the conservation of the two statues actually constitutes a series of chapters that are added to what has already been said and illustrated so far. The reports of the Conference open up new scenarios, where new paths are taken regarding the ordinary and extraordinary maintenance of the two masterpieces, subjected to new and continuous impacts to be addressed quickly and with knowledge of the facts. In this sense, the Riace Bronzes become in fact true forerunners for new restoration techniques and methods for what the Mediterranean has preserved in its depths, today affected by pollution that gives rise to new challenges also for underwater archeology.

The fourth section insists on new ways of valorisation. In the last quarter of the twentieth century the world has radically changed with the affirmation of the internet and new communication techniques. Globalization has transformed the way of perceiving reality, even that which until a few years ago was represented by archeology museums. The transformation in progress also concerns the Riace Bronzes and all the underwater archeology of the Mediterranean: from the anti-seismic techniques for the conservation of the finds to the lights, from the temperature to the degree of humidity determined by the number of visitors present. New and decisive importance is also given to the environment that has preserved the submerged archaeological sites over time: the water of the Mediterranean, which becomes co-protagonist together with the Riace Bronzes.

To access the Conference, due to limited places, it is necessary to register, starting from 8 November, at the following link [email protected]

The Conference will be broadcast live on the Faceboock page of the MiC Regional Secretariat for Calabria https://www.facebook.com/beniculturalicalabria

It is possible to stay updated on events and initiatives on the official social networks, Facebook and Instagram, @ bronzidiriace50 and following the official hashtag # bronzi50. Furthermore, all the news will be periodically published on the website www.bronzi50.it, with in-depth analyzes and interviews also available on the dedicated YouTube channel, Bronzi di Riace Official.

Info, program and insights on www.bronzi50.it