Italian Archaeological Academy

Historical events of the Institution

     The Italian Archaeological Academy it has purely Turin roots, as it is programmatically inspired by the many cultural initiatives that the King of Sardinia Carlo Alberto promoted and supported in the capital of his Kingdom during the first half of the 19th century; in this regard we recall, first of all, what can be considered the progenitor of our current Academy, namely the Board of Antiquities and Fine Arts, founded in 1832 with the aim of "protecting the relics of ancient monuments and the masterpieces of the fine arts", which were joined by the organization of the Savoy Art Gallery (in the same year) and the reorganization of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture (which had been founded in 1778 on the traces of the pre-existing Academy of Painters, Sculptors and Architects, reassembling in 1678), which took the name of “Accademia Albertina” from him; he then conceived the Royal Deputation above the studies of National History (which will have several counterparts in other cities) and, in 1836, the Piedmontese Society of Archeology and Fine Arts; the Inspectorate of Monuments of Antiquity existing in the Royal States followed (in 1837, from which the Consultation of Fine Arts for the national territory would derive in 1860) and the Promoting Society of Fine Arts (1842). It is also appropriate to recall the foundation, in 1831, of the Civil Order of Savoy, which, despite being a knightly honor in all respects, with only the rank of Knight, was born with eminently cultural intentions which worthily qualified it on a par with an Academy, with the aim of "remunerating those who, having dedicated themselves to professions no less useful than that of arms, have become the pride of the State with profound studies and have greatly benefited the service of the King and the common good with their learned efforts".

Over the years, the Academy has carried out an almost constant activity, adapting its structures to the needs of the times and widening the sphere of its competences not only to archeology in the strict sense, but rather to everything related to the ancient: in fact, starting from the Greek etymological meaning of the term (archiaiologhia) it turned from the beginning to the study of ancient things, i.e. to the science of antiquity, seen in its relations with history, the arts, institutions, religions, customs , languages ​​and anything else that can promote their knowledge.

The dispersion of his archive, which occurred during the last world war, prevents us from knowing in detail moments, figures and achievements of great interest for its history. Today we are only able to retrace his events in the second half of the 20th century starting right from the Piedmontese capital, where, with a deed of 16 September 1952, the activity of the Ancient Theater Entity of Turin was legalized, which, in 1957, assumed the name of Archaeological Academy and Museum; the latter, in turn, was transformed into the current Italian Archaeological Academy in 1962, continuing to operate in Turin; in that period he collaborated, through joint cultural initiatives, with various study and research Centres, such as Dante Studies, Oriental Studies, Ancient Art Restoration Studies, Melodramatic Studies, Egyptological Studies, Theater Studies and Historical and Heraldic Studies; from the point of view of the disclosure of its activities, it relied on the magazine "Melpomene".

In 1967, for the formalization of the definitive emblem (still in use), a first organic internal regulation was adopted, which, however, was never transformed into a statute and, therefore, never registered. The following year the site was moved to Rome, a city which also possesses significant and concrete archaeological traditions; we cannot fail to mention the Academy of Roman Antiquities, founded in 1740 by Pope Benedict XIV (and which was called "Benedictine" by him) with the help of distinguished scholars of the subject, including the Prussian archaeologist Johann Joachim Winckelmann , which subsequently became the Roman Academy of Archeology by decree of Pius VII in 1810 and which Pius VIII decorated with the title of "Pontifical" in 1829; the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology, wanted by Pius XI in 1925 and the Pontifical Academy Cultorum Martyrum, founded in 1879 as a "Collegium" on the initiative of a group of archaeologists led by Giovanni Battista De Rossi with the approval of Pius IX; equally important is the Pontifical Insigne Academy of Fine Arts and Letters of the Virtuous at the Pantheon founded in 1542 by the Cistercian religious Desiderio d'Adiutorio and immediately recognized by Paul III; in the state sphere, among many, the National Academy of the Lincei, founded in 1603 and the National Academy of San Luca, whose activity dates back to 1370, emerge. Also in the capital, diversified relationships were established with important state, pontifical and cultural entities and non-governmental, while the magazine "La cultura nel mondo" (of which the President of the Academy, Prof. Leo Magnino was the Director) functioned as a spokesperson. The last transfer of headquarters, from Rome to Genoa, took place in 1996, after the death of the aforementioned President and in consideration of the fact that the General Secretariat and the Chancellery had already been operating in the Ligurian capital for several years; also in this city the Academy has worthily joined the two important institutions of centuries-old activity: the Ligurian Academy of Sciences and Letters (founded in 1798 under the auspices of the Ligurian Democratic Republic and subsequently maintained, under different denominations, by the Napoleonic and Savoyard governments and finally by the Italian Republic) and the Ligustica Academy of Fine Arts (founded in 1751 by decree of the “Serenissima” Republic of Genoa and with the support of local nobles). Today the Italian Archaeological Academy, with a renewed structure and programs, continues the path undertaken at the service of knowledge, despite the awareness of its availabilities.


In 1952, when the Ancient Theater Entity of Turin was founded, the promoters gave it as an emblem a stony half staircase (presumably taken from the image of an ancient amphitheater), which shows a theatrical mask on the lower left side, all surrounded on the right side by the wording in capital letters " ANCIENT THEATER ENTITY " and on the base the words “OF TURIN”. This symbology evidently did not satisfy the members of the association, so much so that, already a year later, it was replaced with a new emblem, consisting of a Samnite shield surmounted by an Ionic capital containing the initials "E.T.A.T." in capital letters; theatrical plant (on the right) and a mask (on the left) were inserted in the cut field.

To the modification of the title, in 1957, also corresponded the variation of the embleme, still represented by a Samnite shield with a concave upper side, in whose field dominated a column with an Ionic capital, above which, in memory of the primitive Institution, was maintained the acronym “E.T.A.T.” in capital letters; on the sides of the column, always in capital letters, the vertical words “ACADEMY” (on the left) and “ARCHEOLOGICAL” (on the right) were placed, while under the same, in the same typeface, was written “AND MUSEUM”. The sign thus conceived lasted until 1962, when the current name was adopted. The shape of the shield remained unchanged, as well as the column and the two lateral writings, the abbreviation “E.T.A.T.” disappeared. in the upper part (which, objectively, no longer had any reason), replaced with a five-pointed star, while the word "ITALIAN" was placed in place of the wording "AND MUSEUM".

In this definitive shape, the shield became the official insignia of the Academy and was filed with an extrajudicial report (drawn up by the Academician Prof. Arnolfo Cesari d'Ardea) at the Civil and Criminal Court of the Republic of San Marino; it is still used in everything that concerns it (diplomas, letterheads, stamps, etc.).


Prof. EDOARDO GARELLO  from 1962   to   1967

 Prof. Gr. Cr. AMADORE PORCELLA  from   1968   to   1971

Prof. Gr. Off. LEO MAGNINO from   1972   to   1996

Dr. kt. Gr. Cr. MARIO VASETTI from   1996   to   2001

Off. kt. REMO A. BORZINI   (ad interim, by deanery)   from   2001   to   2002

Prof. Cdr. GIUSEPPE PARODI DOMENICHI  from 2003     in charge