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Renovated the magnificent monumental portal of Rome's Bioparco

Elefantino Bioparco@Marco Petrangeli
from 26 February 2024 to 31 December 2024

Inaugurated for the first time on 5 January 1911, during the Universal Exhibition on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, the majestic entrance to the Zoological Garden of Rome was designed by the famous architect and town planner Armando Brasini and Giulio Barluzzi, an architect and engineer, who gave it the well-known exotic and fantastic appearance, which perfectly matched the taste of the time.

In the elegant access to Italy's oldest zoological garden, visited every year by hundreds of thousands of Romans and tourists, the powerful and sinuous volumes inspired by Antiquity, the Renaissance and Baroque of the two pavilions and the lightness, borrowed from 17th-century decorative motifs, of the refined gate harmoniously combine.

The work of Vincenzo Romeo, the characteristic sculptural groups that adorn the portal, such as the men fighting with animals and the two elephant heads guarding the doors to the two vestibules, have been subject to a slow and progressive degradation caused by the most diverse weather conditions, the corrosive action of time and the accumulation of dust and smog.    

Today, after a careful and articulate conservative restoration work supervised and financed by the "Dipartimento Capitolino Tutela Ambientale", under the supervision of the Soprintendenza Speciale di Roma and the Sovrintendenza Capitolina, the entire monumental complex has been restored to its ancient splendour thanks to the faithful reconstruction of missing parts of some statues, including the crocodile hunter, the eagle hunter, the lion, the lioness and the two elephant heads.

The restoration, which lasted a total of eight months, was completely eco-friendly: biocides based on essential oils, products from the distillation of aromatic plants, non-toxic for the operators and the environment, were indeed used to eliminate moss and mould.

Photo: Marco Petrangeli

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Elefantino Bioparco@Marco Petrangeli