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Title: 'Abbracciare in una le gloriose memorie antiche e moderne'
Subtitle: Gli scavi di Pompei tra patrimonio universale, ambiente internazionale e identità italiana
Author(s): DE HAAN, Nathalie
Journal: BABESCH
Volume: 91    Date: 2016   
Pages: 197-208
DOI: 10.2143/BAB.91.0.3175650

Abstract :
This paper addresses the question of why the world-famous site of Pompeii was nearly absent in the Italian imagination during the Risorgimento of the 19th century. It is argued that the close association of the excavations of Pompeii with the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was a major obstacle to a full appreciation of the site by those who favoured Italy’s unification. Moreover, from its rediscovery in the 18th century onward, Pompeii was regarded as a Greek city. For these reasons Pompeii was hardly suited to the ‘grand narrative’ developing during the Risorgimento: all ‘new’ Italians were encouraged to identify with the Romans as their common ancestors. Only after the unification and the birth of the kingdom of Italy (1861) was Pompeii valued: as a Roman city.

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