Chiara Mannoni

Giuseppe Melchiorri, Antiquarian President in 1838

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Despite Clemente XII entrusted the Capitoline Museum to the Conservators of the City of Rome in 1734, during the first years of the XIXth century the Museum returned under the influence of the Steward of the Vatican Apostolic Palace. The dispute that followed, opposing the Capitol and the Vatican, was based on the fact that the Conservators continued to support a collection that was not under their control. An agreement was found in 1838, when Gregorio XVI returned the institute to the City of Rome and the Conservators elected Giuseppe Melchiorri as President of the Capitoline Museum. At the same time, the "Motu Proprio" of Gregorio XVI established that all the Egyptian sculptures in the Capitoline galleries had to pass to the Vatican galleries, in order to create the new Gregorian-Egyptian Museum; on the other hand, some sculptures selected in the Vatican had to pass to the Capitol. In this context, Melchiorri was the leader who managed both the transferring of artworks between the two collections and the remodelling of the Capitoline Museum after the new pieces were acquired.

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