Choosing to celebrate a key figure such that of Marcello Venuti, the two institutions wish to highlight the existence of a strong link between their museums. Two-hundred and eighty years ago, Marcello Venuti was entrusted by the King of Naples (1738) with the curatorship of the Farnese collections and the supervision of the excavations at Herculaneum. In his native Cortona, Venuti was one of the founding members of the “Accademia Etrusca” as well as a major populariser of arts and culture.
The exhibition will take visitors on a journey back to the first three years into the Herculaneaum excavations, drawing inspiration from the hands-on experience of the archaeologist, who first had an intuition that the recovered ruins could be those of the town buried in the Plinian eruption. In its various sections, the exhibition intends to give a comprehensive view of a series of events that, in the first half of the 1700s, saw one of the founding members of the “Accademia Etrusca” – and the one that more than any other helped the Cortonese institution acquire international standing and recognition – become a privileged interlocutor to some of the leading intellectuals on the continental: Marcello Venuti, scion to one of the most prominent noble families in Cortona and a stalwart of the town’s cultural scene.