Monumental Statue Boxer at Rest on Special Loan to Metropolitan Museum

The celebrated over-life-size bronze statue Boxer at Rest—an exceptionally realistic ancient Greek sculpture created between the late fourth and the second century B.C., on loan from the Museo Nazionale Romano – Palazzo Massimo alle Terme—will be shown outside Europe for the first time in The Boxer: An Ancient Masterpiece, a special presentation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, beginning Saturday, June 1 until July 15, 2013. This extraordinary work will be on view for six weeks only.

The exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, and the Museo Nazionale Romano – Palazzo Massimo alle Terme. Support is provided by Eni, the main sponsor of the exhibition.

The event is part of 2013 – Year of Italian Culture in the United States, an initiative held under the auspices of the President of the Italian Republic, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Italy in Washington, D.C., with the support of the Corporate Ambassadors Eni and Intesa Sanpaolo.

“We are proud to host The Boxer at Rest, a special loan made possible by the Republic of Italy,” commented Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum. “More than 2,000 years have passed since this virtuoso work of art was created, yet the powerful realism of its subject continues to captivate viewers today. The privilege to display this marvelous statue in the United States for the first time—and in the context of the Met’s exceptional collection—is a particular honor. We encourage our visitors not to miss this exciting opportunity.”

“Viewing one of the most stunning statues from antiquity is truly a singular opportunity,” said Italy’s Ambassador to the U.S., Claudio Bisogniero. “The Boxer is a masterpiece and its exhibition at the prestigious Met speaks volumes about the success of the Year of Italian Culture in the United States and how the more than 200 programmed events are contributing to expanding and deepening the relations between Italy and the U.S.”

“At Eni, culture means ‘relationships.’ Through culture, in Italy and all over the world, we create links with the territories in which we operate,” stated Paolo Scaroni, Chief Executive Officer, Eni S.p.A. “We are inextricably linked with the U.S.A., both as a country and as a company. This is true historically, due to the role played by America in Europe, and in Italy, in the 20th century. It is also true in terms of our current relationships, with some of the most important organizations in the United States, across the fields of the arts, industry, and research. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is certainly one of the institutions that best reflects the American passion for culture, with its immeasurable artistic endowment spanning every era and every corner of the globe. Through The Boxer: An Ancient Masterpiece, we hope you will feel as if we have brought a piece of Italy within these prestigious walls.”

The statue was excavated in Rome in 1885 on the south slope of the Quirinal Hill near the ancient Baths of Constantine, where it is thought to have been displayed. The sculpture was buried intentionally in late antiquity, possibly to preserve it against the barbarian invasions that ravaged Rome in the fifth century A.D. The broad-shouldered, lanky pugilist is shown seated, resting after a match. His gloves—which are highly detailed—identify him as a boxer.

The athlete’s many head wounds are consistent with ancient boxing techniques, in which the head was the main target. The copper inlays, indicating blood, heighten the effect. The boxer’s right eye is swollen, his nose is broken, and he breathes through his mouth, probably because his nostrils are blocked by blood. His scarred lips are sunken, suggesting missing teeth. The ears, swollen from blows, indicate possible hearing loss. Drops of blood from the wounds on his head have trickled down his right arm and leg. Wear on the foot and hands suggests that they were touched frequently in antiquity, possibly in veneration.

Because the iconography is related to statues of Herakles sculpted by Lysippos in the fourth century B.C., the Boxer at Rest may have been meant to celebrate a mythical—or real—boxer, who was glorified for his endurance and courage. Scholars have long debated the date of the statue, placing it anywhere from the middle of the fourth century B.C. to the middle of the first century B.C. The sculpture is an exceptional work in bronze from the Hellenistic period (323–31 B.C.) and is of outstanding artistry.

Museo Nazionale Romano – Palazzo Massimo alle Terme
The Museo Nazionale Romano was established at the end of the 19th century. It houses countless archaeological finds unearthed in Rome. The need for larger and more fitting locations to host the museum’s collection led to the creation of a group of new museums around the city: Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Palazzo Altemps, and Crypta Balbi.

Built at the end of the 19th century, the Palazzo Massimo was purchased by the Italian State in 1981 to house the Museo Nazionale Romano’s collection of ancient art, coinage, and jewelry. The evolution of Roman artistic culture from the Late Republican Age through Late Antiquity (second century B.C.–fifth century A.D.) is shown through the beauty and magnificence of the collections on display on four floors. The museum houses celebrated masterpieces of statuary, of which the bronze statue Boxer at Rest is a superb example, as well as polychrome mosaics and precious engraved gems; exceptional frescoes from the Villa of Livia and the Villa della Farnesina; and an impressive numismatic collection.

The exhibition will be featured on the Metropolitan Museum’s website (


Source:  Metropolitan Museum

Sergio Marchionne, General Colin Powell, Gary Sinise, Robert Corrao Honored By Sons of Italy

It was a very patriotic evening  the Italian American community! Four leaders in business, government and entertainment received awards during the Sons of Italy Foundation (SIF) 25th Silver Anniversary National Education & Leadership Awards(NELA) Gala held on May 23, at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.
The honorees were: Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne; General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.); actor Gary Sinise and Sky TV’s Robert Corrao.

Sergio Marchionne, chairman & CEO of Chrysler Group LLC and CEO of Fiat S.p.A., received the 2013 SIF Award for Excellence in Global Business. Mr. Marchionne is credited with turning around two major automobile companies: the Italian auto manufacturer, Fiat and the American manufacturer, Chrysler. In addition to his duties as head of the two auto companies, Mr. Marchionne serves on numerous boards of directors, including Fiat Industrial S.p.A. as chairman and the European Automobile Manufacturers Association as president.

Mr. Marchionne is bilingual in Italian and English having been born in Italy and raised in Canada.

In accepting his award, Marchionne stressed the importance of moving from interdependence to integration. “It’s a philosophy that has played a key role in the Fiat-Chrysler partnership from the very beginning. It is a partnership which is driven by people who are willing to listen to each other, who are willing to share experiences, exchange knowledge and ideas, and expand their horizons. And in bringing together the best of our two groups, we’ve embraced both the Italian heritage of Fiat and the distinctly American identity of Chrysler. In many respects it is an idea that is very familiar to the Sons of Italy, which takes pride in an Italian-American culture that draws strength from both traditions,” Marchionne said.

General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) received the 2013 SIF Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Service for his career in the military and diplomatic fields as the 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and 65th U.S. Secretary of State. He is also the founding chairman of America’s Promise Alliance, a non-profit that aims to make children and youth a national priority by focusing on lowering the high school dropout rate. Under Gen. Powell’s leadership, the organization has become the nation’s largest multi-sector alliance that focuses on the well-being of young Americans.

The SIF Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Service is presented annually to a person who is not of Italian heritage. The award and the recipient reflect the significance of working together to build a better global community. Past recipients include former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden; and U.S. Senator Jack Reed.

The son of Jamaican immigrants, Gen. Powell referred to the commonality of the immigrant experience, regardless of the origins, and proudly remarked upon receiving his SIF award, “I always say that I’m an honorary Italian, but tonight I can finally say that I’m more.”

Actor and activist Gary Sinise received the 2013 SIF Award for Courage & Patriotism. As founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation, Mr. Sinise works to assist the men and women who defend our country. His foundation partners with a range of organizations that support U.S. service personnel and veterans, including the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which builds customized smart homes for severely wounded veterans. A skilled musician and entertainer, Mr. Sinise has also performed for U.S. troops around the globe with his “Lieutenant Dan Band.” Along with NELA Gala emcee Joe Mantegna, Mr. Sinise hosts public television’s annual National Memorial Day Concert.

Accepting his award after a moving introduction by Mantegna, Sinise spoke about what inspires his work. “If by highlighting what I do shines a light on these brave men and women, that’s one way I feel like I can serve.”

Robert F. Corrao is CEO and chairman of the Ski TV Network, a national high definition television network broadcasting via direct satellite and DSL technology to LCD screens at premier ski resorts across the United States, delivering over 60 million impressions through year round TV programming. He received the SIF’s highest honor, its National Education & Leadership Award for 2013. Accepting the award, Corrao proudly spoke of his Italian roots, the importance of education and his long history with the SIF. “All this Italian blood in my heart right now is boiling over.”

During the NELA Gala, the SIF also recognized the men and women who have served or are serving our country. Present at the dinner were U.S. military personnel, active, veteran and wounded warriors. The SIF has long collaborated with and supported the Wounded Warrior Project.

About 1,000 guests attended this year’s NELA black tie gala. Among the special guests were: U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Raymond T. Odierno, Claudio Bisogniero, Italy’s Ambassador to the U.S., Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIH AIDS researcher, Jack Reed, U.S. Senator representing Rhode Island, Doug Flutie, former NFL quarterback, Bob Johnson, BET founder Mack McClarty, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, Franco Nuschese of the premier Italian restaurant in Washington, Café Milano, Judge Francis Allegra of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the recipients of nine SIF national scholarships

Past attendees have included U.S, presidents; members of the Cabinet and the Congress; and foreign diplomats. Previous SIF honorees include President Bill Clinton; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; AIDS researchers Anthony Fauci and Robert Gallo; the late Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro; former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace, USMC (Ret.); and entertainers Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Regis Philbin, Annette Funicello, and Joe Mantegna.

The Sons of Italy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Sons of Italy, the nation’s oldest and largest organization for people of Italian heritage. The SIF has contributed to date $125 million to medical research, disaster relief, scholarships, and cultural preservation, along with other special projects. NELA Gala proceeds help fund these philanthropic programs.

Source:  OSIA as revised

Photos by Max Taylor

Works of Italian Abstract Artist Bice Lazzari At National Museum of Women in the Arts

An exhibition featuring 25 paintings and drawings by Italian abstract artist Bice Lazzari (1900–81), is on view at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) until September 22, 2013.  Discouraged from studying the figure in art school in the 1910s because of her gender, Lazzari became a prominent decorative arts designer, and in the mid-1930s, focused her

Bice Lazzari

Bice Lazzari

attention on abstraction.  She is renowned for her later poetic abstract paintings that resemble graphs, maps, and musical staffs and notes, echoing her lifelong passion for music.

The works on display are drawn from the Archivio Bice Lazzari in Rome, the repository for many of Lazzari’s artworks, writings, designs and other primary resources, as well as from NMWA’s collection. The exibition,  Bice Lazzari: Signature Line,  is presented as part of 2013 – Year of Italian Culture in the United States

Nazionale Italiana Sbandieratori Performs in Washington, D.C.

The Italian national team of flag  throwers was in Washington on Mother’s day weekend where they demonstrated on Saturday at the Italian Embassy on the occasion of  the European Day

celebration: “Shortcut to Europe: European Union Embassies’ Open House”, and on Sunday at Casa Italiana Cultural Center.  The art of flag throwing dates back to medieval guilds  in Italy.  A guild’s banner or flag was considered a symbol of purity, and as such it was not allowed to touch the ground.