The "Museo dei Gessi" of the Sapienza University was founded by Emanuel Löwy, who, since his nomination as professor of the History of Ancient Art in 1889/1890, had worked to create a collection of plaster casts on the model of the university plaster cast libraries that had arisen in Europe - especially in Germany - as indispensable teaching and research tools.
The first nucleus of the Museum, progressively increased thanks to Löwy, who directed it until 1915, was set up in some rooms in Via Luca della Robbia in Testaccio. In 1924 it was transferred to the Istituto S. Michele, but the spaces soon proved to be inadequate for the constantly increasing museum patrimony, as became evident during the direction of Giulio Emanuele Rizzo. Some years later, with the construction of the new University City, the collection found a new and more suitable location in the basement of the building for the Faculty of Arts, the same as it still occupies, designed by Ernesto Rapisardi. The Museum took on the name of Museum of Classical Art.
The exhibition of the casts in the new location, set up in the summer of 1935, followed the criterion of a traditional chronological order, always maintained by the successive directors, among whom we recall in particular Giulio Quirino Giglioli, Giovanni Becatti, Sandro Stucchi, and was preserved even after the extensive restoration and renovation work carried out between 1996 and 2000, under the direction of Andrea Carandini.
Among the most recent acquisitions there is the "Young man of Mozia" (found in 1979), which represents one of the first examples of reproduction on the basis of a digital model obtained in 2004 through laser scanning of the original. Dates back to 2015, however, the donation by the Prada Foundation of copies of the fragments of the group of Tyrannicides of Baia obtained, after laser scanning of the originals, with a 3D printer by ITABC.
History Plaster Casts Gallery http://web.uniroma1.it/polomuseale/sites/default/files/allegati/Storia%20Gipspteca.pdf
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