Rome’s Talking Statues Have Served as Sites of Dissent for Centuries

Jun 22, 2024 178

BY: Elizabeth Djinis

A grand tour of Rome’s iconic sculptures often includes a few staples: the Vatican Museums’ writhing Laocoön; the Capitoline Museums’ Dying Gaul, taking his last breath; and Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Rape of Proserpina, with those indelible fingerprints left on the goddess’s leg.

But some statues that dot the Italian capital are lesser known. They may not offer much to look at, but they always have a lot to say. Six sculptures in particular, each with its own personality and name, were installed in Rome’s center around the time of the Renaissance and quickly became sites to express political discontent. 

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