After two years of restoration, the Special Superintendency for Rome's Archeological Heritage is re-opening the Octagonal Hall of the Baths of Diocletian. To mark the occasion, is to be staged an exhibition "Pietro Cascella al Planetario. I segreti del cielo".
After two years of restoration, the Special Superintendency for Rome’s Archeological Heritage is re-opening the Octagonal Hall of the Baths of Diocletian, better-known as the Planetarium. 16 works by the sculptor who died in May 2008 will be on display, all of which are associated with the theme of the sky”. The sun, the moon, meteors, the heavens, constellations and stars are a recurring theme in his sculpture, with values that are both complementary and antithetic. They appear to us as elements of nature and as beings which have importance beyond nature, as sources of energy and subjects for contemplation, as circumscribed figures and signs of infinity, as memories of space missions and places of mystery, as scientific objects and the origin of myths” writes Elena Pontiggia. Marbles, bronzes, plaster-casts and travertine are gathered under the dome of the Rotunda Diocletiani or Octagonal Hall. – A pressure-controlled micro sand-blasting process on the inner surface of the dome has removed the layer of resin on the surface which previously prevented the walls from breathing and has brought to light not only the original wall fabric but the ribbing of the ancient vault, offering the public a new view of the bath complex. Under this roof, which, for the duration of the exhibition, is illuminated with blue to highlight the synergy between the dome and the works on display, the theme of the universe which, for Cascella, has always been particularly important, especially in the sculptures being exhibited, is set off beautifully. He himself has defined the many works in which he has tackled this subject as “cosmic interrogation”.