Gypsy's Travels

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The National Museum - Written July 2013

Breakfast as usual, coffee / hot chocolate and pastry at the "Bar." The man behind the counter seems to be a little friendlier each day. David and I sit outside today and enjoy the coolness of a shaded table by the sidewalk. As we leave, we are focused on our planned visit to the National Museum. I vaguely register a disturbance from the area we left, so I quicken my pace hoping to avoid any trouble. Every day on our way here, we pass what we think is an embassy. We don't know which one and don't recognize the flag but there are always one or two armed military and a military vehicle stationed in front .
The shouting gets louder and David turns to see what is happening. Rushing along behind us is our "friend from behind the counter of the coffee shop." He is breathless, clearly annoyed, and shouting at us in Italian. We notice the man is waving David's camera in the air and clearly berating us. We don't understand any of his words, so David calmly retrieves his camera, we smile and say 'thank you'. Later, I theorize the man was concerned that we were very vulnerable to the thieves and  pickpockets that prompt all the warning signs. We'll see how he responds to us at breakfast tomorrow.

We tried to see the Capitolini Museum yesterday, but arrived too close to closing time. There was a huge crowd of people gathered in the Piazza so we waaited to see what was happening. After a long while, we asked around and discovered the Mayor of Rome was scheduled to speak to the assembled group. David took this photo:

Mayor of Rome, Italy
The National Museum is filled with statuary and artifacts dating from before Christ. It still amazes me that everything can be so old and well preserved. David states later that "everyone in Rome must have run around naked" because all the statues are naked or barely clothed. He is getting quite an education! We saw duplicate statues of a hermaphrodite in two different museums. She is lying on her side, only partially exposed. The difference is in presentation. One museum puts the art form in a central position where it can easily be seen from all sides. The other museum places the form at an angle near the wall that requires some serious neck-craning to get a full view. I wonder why.

Not being an artist, I find it difficult to maintain an interest in marble, carved heads. Then I notice a focus on hair styles, which are apparently useful in dating and identifying statues. Some of the men sport women's styles, especially the male sports figures.
Feminine style on male athlete

Style favored by matrons