“Esposizione Universale Roma”, looking back at the story behind EUR42, Rome’s main business area.

The exhibition in Museum of Ara Pacis in Rome attempts to look into the history of Eur -born as a symbol of fascist monumentality, finally become an expression of the 1960’s financial boom. “Esposizione Universale Roma. Una città nuova dal fascismo agli anni ‘60” will be open from March 12 to June 14, 2015.

 

Fabrizio Ferri, Untitled #2262, 1999

Fabrizio Ferri, Untitled #2262, 1999

 

In 1942 Rome was due to host EUR42, a Universal Exhibition dedicated to the celebration of fascism in its 20th anniversary. According to the original project, the Exhibition would have welcomed all the countries in the world, saving several permanent core buildings for Italy -the first buildings of a new neighbourhood to come. The impact of the Second World War stopped the works, and the district was abandoned. Only from the 1950’s on was EUR42 transformed into its present state -a modern business and residential area.

In occasion of Milan’s Expo 2015, the Museum of Ara Pacis is holding an exhibition  called “Esposizione Universale Roma. Una città nuova dal fascismo agli anni ‘60” (“Rome’s Universal Exhibition. A new city from fascism to the 60s”). Open from March 12, to June 14, 2015, the exhibition aims to trace the history of the EUR district through some basic steps that have marked its formation and transformation.

 

Piazza Guglielmo Marconi, 1957 ca. Archivio Storico Fotografico EUR S.p.A.

Piazza Guglielmo Marconi, 1957 ca. Archivio Storico Fotografico EUR S.p.A.

 

Through a rich documentary, photographic, and filmic selection of the works by artists and architects involved in the E42 project, the public is invited to discover the enthusiasm and the contradictions of the construction site of that great Universal Exhibition that never saw the light and yet – already in its intentions – traced the lines of a future urban expansion.

 

Sede della Esso, cd. Propilei, progetto di L. Moretti e V. Ballio Morpurgo, 1966 ca. Archivio Storico Fotografico EUR S.p.A.

Sede della Esso, cd. Propilei, progetto di L. Moretti e V. Ballio Morpurgo, 1966 ca. Archivio Storico Fotografico EUR S.p.A.

 

In 1948 the fascinating history of the EUR also inspired Luigi Squarzina in the writing of the play L’esposizione universale, an unpublished text in Italy which will be presented in June by the Teatro di Roma and directed by Piero Maccarinelli. Also in collaboration with Teatro di Roma will be the six meetings on the history of the EUR between the 1940s and 1960s, held from March 19 to May 21 at the Teatro Argentina and the Auditorium of the Ara Pacis.

 

Marcello Piacentini, Studio per allestimento del Viale Imperiale, 1938, tempera su cartoncino, 35 x 79 cm, New York, Massimo & Sonia Cirulli Archive

Marcello Piacentini, Studio per allestimento del Viale Imperiale, 1938, tempera su cartoncino, 35 x 79 cm, New York, Massimo & Sonia Cirulli Archive

 

The exhibition is curated by Vittorio Vidotto and sponsored by Roma Capitale’s Department of Cultural Affairs, EUR S.p.a in partnership with Intituto Luce Cinecittà and Teatro di Roma.

 

Ente Autonomo Esposizione Universale Roma - Servizio architettura parchi e giardini, Assonometria generale del piano urbanistico dell'E42, 1940, tempera su compensato, Roma, courtesy of EUR S.p.a

Ente Autonomo Esposizione Universale Roma – Servizio architettura parchi e giardini, Assonometria generale del piano urbanistico dell’E42, 1940, tempera su compensato, Roma, courtesy of EUR S.p.a

Giovanni Guerrini, La Roma di Mussolini (cartoni relativi al Palazzo dei Ricevimenti e dei Congressi), 1941, tempera su carta da spolvero, Roma, Archivio Centrale dello Stato

Giovanni Guerrini, La Roma di Mussolini (cartoni relativi al Palazzo dei Ricevimenti e dei Congressi), 1941, tempera su carta da spolvero, Roma, Archivio Centrale dello Stato