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Exhibition at Museo Fondazione Roma covers Emperor of India Akbar's entire reign
Scudo. India Occidentale (Gujarat?), 1575 circa. Vimini, cuoio e velluto, acciaio con agemina in oro e madreperla su impasto bituminoso nero, diametro 59,4 cm. Firenze, Museo Nazionale del Bargello.

ROME.- The Fondazione Roma presents to the public an exhibition devoted to the Emperor of India, Akbar (Umarkot, 1542 – Agra, 1605) one of the greatest sovereigns in history. This exhibition has never been held before in Italy and, due to the number of works and historical completeness, is unique in the world since it covers the Emperorʼs entire reign. The last exhibition on this theme was held in New York by the Asia Society in 1984-86, showing around eighty works relating to 1571-1585.

The Exhibition entitled Akbar. The Great Emperor of India has been promoted by the Fondazione Roma and organised by Fondazione Roma-Arte-Musei with the Arthemesia Group and is being held in the halls of the Museo Fondazione Roma, Palazzo Sciarra, from the 23rd October 2012 to the 3rd February 2013.

The event is supported by the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, and has been accomplished through the involvement of the Italian Embassy in New Delhi and Indian Embassy in Rome.

The Chairman of the Fondazione Roma says «This exhibition has a special meaning: Emperor Akbar is the greatest example of how culture may propel reciprocal understanding between different cultures and religions. As I have advocated the Fondazione Roma has always pursued this aim, also in the exhibitions held in its Museum such as, I would mention, the retrospective devoted the Emperor Qianlong and China in the Forbidden City, which was the first to have broadened our view to the East and its millenary civilizations.

Emperor Akbar did not change India alone; he managed to establish intellectual progress, involving both the spiritual and worldly spheres of the people in his Country, throughout the world.

The exhibitionʼs rich and original layout does not intend to tell only the story of Akbar; visitors are prompted to reflect deeply on the concepts of tolerance, open-mindedness and understanding differences. Several Countries and Religions converge at a common point, marked by the awareness that to gain knowledge is not just a choice but a duty of human beings.

This, in my opinion, is another task that art should perform and that the Fondazione Roma aims to accomplish through the numerous projects it has undertaken and supported in the field of culture».

Curated by Gian Carlo Calza, the exhibition presents a selection of works produced during the reign of Emperor Akbar, in order to illustrate the great historical transformations in an age full of political and social events and to portray the personality of a man who made a particular contribution to artistic, cultural and religious dialogue. Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar reigned from 1556 to 1605. He was the most important Mughal Emperor and became Akbar – meaning ʻThe Greatʼ – as a result of his military commitment and numerous conquests and also because of his administrative reforms and ability to make different religions live together and to spread culture, art and beauty throughout his realm.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Fondazione Roma-Arte-Musei has organised the film review Bollywood Film Meeting Roma which aims to offer a glance at the new trends which are becoming popular in cinema productions in the Hindi language of Mumbai.

The review, created by Gian Carlo Calza and curated by Sabrina Ciolfi, Indologist and connoisseur of Indian films at the Università degli Studi in Milan, will be held in the Teatro Quirinetta.

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