Fiftieth anniversary of Riace Bronzes' discovery

Bronzes, Reggio Museum

MAGNA GRAECIA – The fiftieth anniversary of the discovery of the Riace Bronzes in 1972 is this year. Visual art, cinema, street art, comics, virtual reality, public archaeology, mapping, conferences, and exhibitions celebrate the discovery.

 It was 16 August 1972 when, off the coast of Riace, Calabria, following a report by diver Stefano Mariottini, the Carabinieri unearthed two statues unique in the world, the Bronze Statues of Riace: two icons, probably part of a complex group of bronze sculptures, whose images would soon go around the world, entering the collective imagination and opening up new and unprecedented scenarios in the study of Magna Graecia and beyond.

 Legends, heroes, warriors: the Riace Bronzes are still shrouded in mystery and with their sculptural perfection have become the symbol of Magna Graecia, Calabria and the Mediterranean. 

 Recently nominated as a UNESCO heritage site, fifty years after their discovery, the Riace Bronzes will be the protagonists of a new narrative of contemporary, sustainable, and innovative Calabria, which will be told in Italy and around the world through a series of events to rediscover the territory and its culture.

  A number of actions to be taken, promoted by the Region of Calabria, which will see the territory become a protagonist not only in the enhancement of local and territorial excellence, but also in dialogue with the most important cultural spaces in Italy and around the world with exceptional partners: Ministry of Culture, Calabria Film Commission, and many others.

 From July to September, Calabria's excellence will be relaunched and fully valorised with an accessible and well-structured museum network and a series of events capable of meeting the needs of old and new audiences with mapping, visuals, digital, but also public archaeology, theatre, and scientific studies. From October to December and again in 2023, Calabria will ‘travel’ throughout Italy and the world, telling its story through contemporary artistic interventions that will present its beauty and richness in the major European cities.

 Contemporary Calabria will be told through a rich project, starting with Cubo Stage - an artistic installation of a cube measuring 4 metres per side with video projections, animations and visual suggestions accompanied by original music, a creative reconstruction of the concept of Magna Greece in the present day - which will 'debut' in the autumn on a national tour of the major cities and will then represent Calabria and the bronzes in a journey through some of the world's most renowned venues and festivals. 

 A virtual exhibition on Magna Grecia will also be proposed for the first time, a digital immersive space that will allow art to travel the world with audiovisual and virtual reality technologies.

  Audiovisuals take centre stage in the docufilm 'I Bronzi di Riace' - produced by PALOMAR S.p.A, a company belonging to the European Mediawan group, and directed by Fabio Mollo and with a screenplay by Armando Maria Trotta, Giuseppe Smorto, Massimo Razzi and Fabio Mollo - to explore and tell the myth of the Riace Bronzes in the universal language of cinema.

 The Riace Bronzes will be featured in October on Rai Cultura with a special episode of the eighth series of “Viaggio nella Bellezza,” and on Rai Play in December and in prime time on Rai3, with a special episode of “Ossi di Seppia.”

 Space will also be given to urban redevelopment that draws on the world of contemporary art and street art, which will see the creation of Qui e Ora, Magna Grecia-themed murals, and to scientific insights with “I Bronzi di Riace: 50 anni di studi e di ricerche,” a conference that will bring together, for a unique event, the many national and international researchers who over the last 50 years have tried to shed light on the mystery of the Riace Bronzes. Space will also be given to classical theatre in the evocative venues of the Aragonese Castle of Reggio Calabria, the Archaeological Park of Locri, and the Roman Villa of Casignana (RC), with a series of readings featuring great Italian performers. 

 The Bronzi50 initiatives are also aimed at young people with the proposals of cultural tourist packages for students and the involvement of secondary schools in a path on the art: the comic strip ‘La Scuola per i Bronzi.’

 On 16 August, the date of the discovery, the Municipality of Reggio Calabria will pay tribute to the bronzes with an evocative video mapping installation on the façade of the Reggio Calabria Museum, while, for the entire summer, Corso Garibaldi will become the setting for an open-air exhibition of public archaeology dedicated precisely to the discovery of the Bronzes.

 The city of Riace will also be transformed into a stage on 16 August, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary day. The celebrations at the site of the discovery will open with 'The Dawn of the Bronzes: 'Immersed' in the site of the discovery' and will end with 'The Night of the Riace Bronzes,' also offering the public a celebratory photo exhibition, a conference on historical and cultural studies, and concerts and musical events. 

 Finally, on 17 November, 'Adriana Lecrouvere' will be staged at the 'F. Cilea' theatre in Reggio Calabria and, between August and September, the Reggio Calabria Chamber of Commerce will promote the customisation and branding of restaurants and businesses, mainly in the cities of Reggio Calabria and Riace, with displays dedicated to the celebrations.

 Together with the 50th anniversary celebrations, from 7 July 2022, the Region of Calabria will also launch in Italy and worldwide its new emotional video and a new reference website to discover not only the Riace Bronzes but the whole Magna Grecia:

 The Bronzi50 1972-2022 celebratory event is promoted by the Region of Calabria in collaboration with the Regional Secretariat for Calabria of the Ministry of Culture, the Municipality of Reggio Calabria and the Municipality of Riace, the Calabria Regional Museums Directorate, the National Archaeological Museum of Reggio Calabria, the Superintendency of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the Metropolitan City of Reggio Calabria and the Province of Vibo Valentia, the University of Calabria and Unioncamere Ca-labria and the Regional School Office for Calabria.

 Press Office HF4

 Marta Volterra 340.96.900.12

 Alessandra Zoia 333.76.23.013


Riace bronzes discovered in 1972