Mercati e Foro di Traiano

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Dedicated to the forums’ architectural decoration, the museum addresses their structural aspects to once again give us a ‘final’ view of the original buildings. To complete their reassembly the use of artificial elements made from plaster has been used. The use of such elements was agreed upon in the planning phase. Exhibits are completed with ‘colour’ which is not only applied on the plaster mouldings but also on modern marble surfaces through the use of dyes.

Displays have the objective of giving continuity to the architectural reasoning of the original works through the reassembly of original fragments and the study of additional artificial elements to thus evoke the real spatial relationships they embodied within the extraordinary architecture of the Markets of Trajan. It has been our goal to highlight both the decorative and symbolic apparatus at work (the figurative ‘programme’ and its propaganda meaning to the public of that era) as well as the location of works within the constructional scheme.

The Museum has reproduced the Forum’s northern archaeological access; consequently you are expected to commence tours of the forum area from the ground floor of the Great Hall, in which there is an appropriately positioned multimedia display. The same multimedia element has been included in several halls dedicated to specific forums, each symbolised by a significant main display piece.

On the top floor two sections are devoted respectively to the Forum of Caesar (areas toward the Via Biberatica) and to the ‘Memory of the Ancient’. The later is a theme that addresses sculptures and architectural elements relevant to the Temple of Mars Ultor, a temple which has been documented and copied from the 15th century onwards.

On the same level, your tour continues in the halls of the Central Body. A section dedicated to the architectural decoration of porticos (covered walkways), exedras (semi-circular recesses) and the Room of the Colossus in the Forum of Augustus. Some structures, no longer housed in Rome or only known by copies subsequently made for provincial capital forums, are also documented.

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