Magical ‘Centrale Montemartini’

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I would never have dreamt that there was such a jewel on the Via Ostiense between the General Markets and the left bank of the Tiber.

The former Giovanni Montemartini Thermoelectric Centre is an extraordinary example of industrial archeology converted into a museum.

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Its story began in 1997 with the transfer of hundreds of sculptures during the renovation of much of the Capitoline Museums. In the renovated rooms of the first public electricity production facility in Rome, built in the early 1900s, an exhibition entitled “The machines and the Gods ” brought together for the first time the two diametrically opposed worlds as classical archeology and industrial archeology.

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In a fascinating interplay of contrasts, next to the old central productive machinery are exposed masterpieces of ancient sculpture and precious artefacts found in the excavations of the late nineteenth and thirties of 1900, with the reconstruction of major monuments and the illustration of the development of the ancient city from the Republican to the late imperial age.

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 The adjustment of the plant to a museum and the restoration of the machines were made by ACEA (the Roman company for energy and water).

I went to the Montemartini Centre sort of by chance. The fact that I decided to walk in and have a look made my day, definitely.

I absolutely loved it.

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