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The princely archaeological collection reopens in Turin.

Italian elegance has been applied to pieces collected over 400 years for the revamped archaeological gallery, which opened in the Palazzo Reale this month.

With the opening of the Galleria Archeologica of Turin’s royal palace this month, one of Europe’s most important historic collections has become accessible again in a new display that makes the most of its exceptional nature.

Around 1,000 of its 30,000 pieces have been chosen to illustrate the many strands of the collection, which is inextricably woven into the history of the Savoy dynasty whose capital was Turin. Enrica Pagella, the director of the Musei Reali, says, “We have given the city back the roots of its identity”.

The new Galleria is in the 19th-century wing of the palace, with a sober but elegant installation by Studio GTRF, which specialises in the display of archaeological material. Beautifully lit Roman statues and portrait busts (the latter the most important nucleus of the collection) line the central corridor, evoking the kind of Wunderkammer beloved of 16th-century princes, in whom all things ancient aroused amazement and curiosity and constituted the beginning of antiquarian collecting.

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