A group of mysterious benefactors from the Far East have restored to its previous splendor a part of the 16th-century Villa Giulia that formerly attracted the likes of Giorgio Vasari, Michelangelo and other intellectuals of the period.
The “small miracle” was carried out at the Renaissance villa ordered built by Pope Julius III that now houses the Museo Nazionale Etrusco. The most important artists of the time took part in its design and construction between 1550 and 1555.
For the past few weeks, visitors have been surprised by the restored nymphaeum, the heart of the splendid gardens with a fountain designed and sculpted by Vasari and Bartolomeo Ammannati, caryatids holding up the Travertine marble balcony and a mosaic dedicated to Triton.
“Everything began in 2014,” ANSA was told by Alfonsina Russo, superintendent for archaeology, architecture and landscape of the metropolitan area of Rome, Viterbo and southern Etruria, which until a ministry reform a few months ago was headquartered in Villa Giulia.
“I had long been seeking help for the nymphaeum,” she said. “Not only had it turned grey and was plagued by moss and mold, but initial structural problems had also arisen, especially with the mosaic.”
Then, following an evening, a concert with a Japanese delegation and a visit to Villa Giulia, a surprise offer arose to fund the restoration.