Much has been written about Charles de Bourbon, and there are many ways to learn more about him, not only in Naples, on the 300th anniversary of his birth. Naturally the National Archaeological Museum in Naples has enthusiastically taken part in the celebration not only by hosting conventions, but also by hosting the "Charles de Bourbon and the Diffusion of Antiquity" exhibition organised in collaboration with the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City.
This felicitous alliance alone gives an idea of the immense possibilities of relationships and connections between cultural institutions that the figure of the sovereign offers for those today who, like us, want to persevere in the study and appreciation of the artistic and archaeological heritage generated by his political and cultural activities. The exhibition, curated by Valeria Sampaolo, is to be seen as a stepping stone for the growth of our Institute, which not only preserves “Vesuvian Archeology” but also the immense heritage of copperplates of the royal print, not to mention precious antique editions. Subsequent steps will involve a careful work of restoration of the copperplates, new library acquisitions but above all, the emergence on a narrative level, in the museum setting, of the figure of the king. Behind the acquisition of great museum collections there have always been great historical figures and unique historical contexts. With the exhibition today and the museum tomorrow this will be taken into account, because with Charles and “his men” the never-ending, and frequently sterile, diatribe between preservation and development was superseded by the brilliant idea of creating a visual narrative of the excavation experience, the restoration, the exhibition and the conveyance of the content via printed material complete with pictures.
Sometimes to answer simple questions in the present, we must look to the past and have the courage to admit that it still has something to teach us.