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National Gallery of Art presents The Dying Gaul: An ancient Roman masterpiece
The sculpture "Dying Gaul," an ancient Roman sculpture after it was unveiled at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC on December 12, 2013. Created in the first or second century AD, the Dying Gaul is one of the most renowned works from antiquity. This exhibition marks the first time it has left Italy since 1797, when Napoleonic forces took the sculpture to Paris, where it was displayed at the Louvre until its return to Rome in 1816. A universally recognized masterpiece, the Dying Gaul is a deeply moving celebration of the human spirit. The sculpture will be on display from December 12 through March 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Karen BLEIER.

WASHINGTON, DC.- The National Gallery of Art, Roma Capitale, and the Embassy of Italy in Washington, DC, present one of the most famous works from antiquity, the Dying Gaul, an ancient Roman sculpture created during the first or second century AD, traveling outside of Italy for the first time in more than two centuries. On view from December 12, 2013, through March 16, 2014, The Dying Gaul: An Ancient Roman Masterpiece from the Capitoline Museum, Rome celebrates the marble masterwork and the cultural connections between Italy and the United States.

The Dying Gaul portrays a Gallic warrior in his final moments, his face contorted in pain as he falls from a fatal wound to the chest.

“We are delighted to share this illustrious work with visitors to the Gallery. A universally acknowledged masterpiece, the Dying Gaul is a deeply moving tribute to the human spirit,” said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. “An image of a conquered enemy, the sculpture represents courage in defeat, composure in the face of death and dignity.”

“Ancient Rome and Roman art are an integral part of Italian history and culture,” stated the Ambassador of Italy to the United States, Claudio Bisogniero. “But they have also been a source of inspiration for America and its art and architecture. The Galata Morente exhibit in Washington renews the unique ties and friendship between our two countries, and our 2013—Year of Italian Culture in the United States is strengthening them even further.”

“I am glad to introduce you to a priceless and spectacular masterpiece that is part of the cultural heritage of ancient Rome,” said Ignazio R. Marino, Mayor of Rome. “This exhibition is a new milestone in the Dream of Rome program, which was inaugurated precisely here at the National Gallery of Art and is today one of the main events of 2013—Year of Italian Culture in the United States. It is an eloquent demonstration of the close friendship between the sister cities of Rome and Washington and of the fruitful cooperation between two prestigious cultural institutions, the Musei Capitolini and the National Gallery of Art.”

“We are very pleased to bring to Washington a stunning masterpiece that has not left Italian soil since its return to Rome from Paris in 1816,” said Claudio Parisi Presicce, Director of Capitoline Museums. “In 1797, Napoleonic forces had taken the sculpture to France with the intention of keeping it there. Its journey across the Atlantic today is further proof of the strong and fruitful collaboration between our countries.”

Cooperation between Rome and the National Gallery of Art continues to move forward with the Gems of Impressionism: Paintings from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, an exhibition on public view at the Museum of the Ara Pacis in Rome from October 22, 2013, through February 23, 2014.

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