City of Rome - Expo Brussels 1935

City of Rome at the Exhibition Expo Brussels 1935

As a token of friendship for Belgium, Italy and the City of Rome have built a pavilion in durable materials, which they have donated to the City of Brussels. This building, the work of the architect Munoz, stands opposite the Avenue du Gros Tilleul; it is preceded by a lawn and divided into two bodies in the classical style; a corridor hidden under a staircase that climbs to one of the edges of the Parc Forestier, joins the two sides of the horseshoe.

During the Exhibition, this pavilion was dedicated to the memories of Imperial Rome, to the latest archaeological discoveries, as well as to a reminder of the age-old links between the two countries.

The first room, illuminated by two large windows, contained two large paintings, one showing the present-day appearance of the great monuments of Rome cleared, the other one of the galleys of Tiberius, removed from the lake of Nemi. In front of the painting were two bronze wolf's heads, which were used as tether holders, still attached to fragments of beams.

On two other walls, four large maps showed the successive growths of the Roman Empire, from the foundation of Rome to the reign of Trajan; finally, there were eight busts and a large marble statue from the Capitoline Museum, as well as a reproduction of the famous She-wolf, suckling Remus and Romulus.

Two small rooms contained curious watercolours by the painter E. Roosler Franz, depicting the Tiber and the working-class districts of Rome as they were around 1880. The other, paintings on wood, - portraits of philosophers and writers - attributed to a Flemish artist, Juste de Gand, who was the painter of the Duke of Urbino. There was also a reproduction of two beautiful bronze Centaurs and a Flemish tapestry: "A feast given at the Colosseum in honour of the Emperor Charles V".

The last room contained precious souvenirs of the Princes of the House of Savoy who were connected with Belgium; S. À. R. Prince Humbert had personally taken care of collecting them. Thus, there were casts of several statues of Margaret of Austria, widow of Philibert of Savoy; Princes Eugène and Thomas of Savoy, old tapestries, portraits, an important collection of manuscripts belonging to the Royal Library of Belgium, photographs of autographs and manuscripts, as well as a panel of the Sablon tapestry (in the Museums of the Cinquantenaire) showing Marguerite of Austria, Duchess of Savoy, kneeling before the popular Brussels Madonna.

© Le Livre d'Or de l'Exposition Universelle de Bruxelles 1935