ART AND HISTORICAL SPORTS EVENTS

All events of an artistic nature which took place during the period of the XVII Olympic Games were presented for study and approval to the Arts Committee, whose President was Prof. Guglielmo De Angelis d'Ossat, General Director of Antiquities and Fine Arts. The Committee itself was composed of the following members: Prof. Renato Bartoccini, Superintendent of Antiquities of Southern Etruria, Maestro Alessandro Bustini, Director of the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia, Prof. Carlo Ceschi, Superintendent of Monuments for Lazio, Prof. Amedeo Maiuri, Superintendent of Antiquities for Campania, Prof.
Valerio Mariani, Professor of the History of Art at Naples University, Mr.
Roberto Roberti, President of the Professionals and Artists Union, Maestro Bonaventura Somma, Director of the Choirs of the Santa Cecilia Academy, Dr. Roberto Vighi, Director of Villa d'Este and Villa Adriana. Secretary of the Committee and head of the Arts Section in the first period of work was Dr. Romolo Passamonti, who unfortunately died before expiry of his term of office and was replaced by Dr. Roberto Vighi.
The Arts Committee carefully examined and deliberated on questions concerning the official poster, the model of the Torch, the symbols and medals, the Olympic hymn, the official fanfare, the national anthems and other musical items. It also made all arrangements in connection with the use of ancient monuments for Olympic events, collaborated in the preparation of the folkloristic events, of the Olympic Exhibition of Sports Photography and, above all, it prepared and was responsible for the Exhibition of Sport in History and Art.

Competition for the poster

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On 31st January 1957 the Arts Section iniziated a " Prize-winning Contest between artists of Italian nationality for the poster intended to exalt the Games of the XVII Olympiad ". The proclamation stipulated that the designs entered should represent an allegory containing the following essential elements: (a) the idea of Olympic sport at Rome: (6) the five Olympic rings; (c) the wording "Games of the XVII Olympiad—Rome—MCMLX".
The 16th July 1957, on the proposal of the Arts Committee, the Examining Jury was appointed under the Chairmanship of Mr. Roberto Roberti, President of the Italian Professionals and Artists Union and composed of Prof.
Carlo Giulio Argan, art critic, Mr. Mino Maccari, painter, Mr. Domenico Purificato, painter, Prof. Alfredo Lalia, commercial artist, representative of the Italian Advertising Federation, Dr. Marcello Garroni, Secretary-General of the Games, Dr. G. B. Fabjan, Vice-Secretary General of the Italian National Olympic Committee and Dr. Romolo Passamonti.

212 competitors and 249 designs

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212 competitors, with 249 designs, were entered for the contest. By an announcement of 9th August 1957, the Jury found that none of the works presented was in line with its requirements and decided not to award any prize.
At the same time it suggested that a second competition be held, announcing the names of twelve poster artists as competitors. The conclusions of the Jury were approved by the Arts Committee and, subsequently on 5th November 1957, also by the Presidency of the C.O.N.I.
The same Jury examined the works of the seven participants in the competition out of the twelve invited, i.e. Erberto Carboni, Carmelo Cremonesi, Augusto Favalli, Paolo Garretto, Marcello Nizzoli, Saverio Pozzati, Gian Rossetti, Armando Testa, Pino Tovaglia, Dante Vernice, Luigi Veronesi and Franco Grignani and, by its announcement of 10th January 1958, judged the work of Armando Testa of Turin to contain the best artistic solution of those presented by the seven participants. However, when the vote of the Jury was passed for ratification to the Executive Committee of the C.O.N.I., this latter body, in its meeting of 22nd January 1958, was of the opinion that the design in question did not completely fulfil their requirements and authorised the awarding of the prize, at the same time inviting the Arts Section to seek an arrangement with some highly qualified Italian artist for the elaboration of the design.
Thus, the Arts Committee in its meeting of 6th February 1958 took note of the decisions of the Jury and the remarks of the Committee of the C.O.N.I.
and in view of the fact that the twelve most qualified Italian poster artists had already been invited to take part in the second stage of the contest, decided to propose to the author of the winning design, Armando Testa, that certain modifications be made which, while preserving the fundamental inspiration and realization of the work whose originality, impact, and artistic value they recognised, would simplify a number of details of execution.
For this the artist Testa was approached, but the Executive Committee of the C.O.N.I. still did not express itself satisfied. The Executive Committee then decided to establish what they wanted in the poster, namely: a pillar with capital and the Capitoline Wolf as symbols of its Roman character, the five Olympic rings and the prescribed wording. Among the designs presented on this theme the best was, once again, judged to be that of Testa, who produced a modern interpretation of the Belvedere Capital showing a scene of acclamation to a winning athlete of the III century B. C.
Testa's final design, having been approved by the Arts Committee and the Executive Committee of the C.O.N.I., was adopted and used for the Official Poster of the Games of the XVII Olympiad. Distribution of the poster was undertaken by the Press Services Section.
The Wolf, which was the badge of the Romans before Marius' second Consulship, is represented in the celebrated bronze in the Museum of Palazzo dei Conservatori on the Capitol in the act of suckling Romulus and Remus; the work bears witness to the conventionalism of Etruscan art in the VI century B. C. inspired by Greco-Ionic models and is attributable most probably to the School of Veio. The suckling twins are, however, more modern, being the work of Guglielmo della Porta and Antonio del Pollaiolo.
The Capitoline Wolf, which inspired the creation of the official symbol, was reproduced and the various models used for the different decorative requirements of the Olympic organisation.

The Olympic Hymn

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After carefully weighing many decisions on proposed new compositions for the official Hymn, without, however, finding one which met their specific requirements, the Arts Committee accepted the suggestion of the I.O.C. which proposed the Official Hymn of the 1st Olympic Games (Athens 1896), with music by Spiro Samara and words by Kostis Palamas.
The text for choir and pianoforte of this Hymn was obtained from the Greek Olympic Committee, and a long work of translation of the words into Italian was commenced by Prof. Sigfrido Troilo, while work was also begun on the musical and instrumental transcription essential for the choral and orchestral execution. The work was directed by the late Maestro Bonaventura Somma with the valuable collaboration of Messrs. Domenico Fantini, Conductor of the Carabinieri Band, Alberto Di Miniello, Conductor of the Italian Air Force Band, Antonio Fuselli, Conductor of the Band of the Public Security Police, Giovanni D'Angelo and Olivio Di Domenico, Vice-Conductor and Conductor of the Band of the Finance Guards.
The choice of the Hymn and the official fanfare for the XVII Olympic Games implied a long process of selective work. Having examined various proposals, the Arts Committee accepted the suggestion made by Dr. Garroni to adopt, as the Hymn of the Rome Olympic Games, the Hymn of the Sun, from Mascagni's " Iris " (Ricordi edition). Likewise after rejecting a number of unacceptable suggestions, the first bars of the same Hymn to the Sun were adopted, and this constituted the leit-motif played at each official ceremony.
The choral and orchestral execution of the Olympic Hymn, the National Anthem and the Hymn of the Sun were carried out by Maestro Somma.
At the same time, considerable work in connection with the instrumentation for bands of the National Anthems of all the Nations taking part in the Games was being carried out, in collaboration with the Protocol Section.
Gramophone recordings were also made of each Anthem. Furthermore, work was carried out on the execution of marches to be played during the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games, as well as of other musical themes.

The medals for winners

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The medal of honour awarded to winners, in accordance with the decisions of the I.O.C., remained that adopted many years previously at the Amsterdam Olympic Games (1928) despite the fact that its subject was not considered with any favour by Italian art critics. However, the original medal produced by Prof. Cassioli of Florence was adopted in the successive Olympic Games of Los Angeles (1932), Berlin (1936), London (1948), Helsinki (1952) and Melbourne (1956), preserving the same design and thus creating a tradition which prompted the I.O.C., on the occasion of the work of the 54th Session held at Tokyo, to decide that this same theme for the medals for winners should be continued for the 1960 Games.
On the face of the medal there therefore appeared the same allegory conceived by Prof. Cassioli, while the back bore the words " Games of the XVII Olympiad – Rome 1960 ". The medal was encircled by a bronze band composed of laurel leaves.
The commemorative medal of the Games was the work of Prof. Emilio Greco, who designed it according to his own personal ideas, avoiding any form of complicated symbolism and turning directly to the expressive clarity of a purely figurative style. On the face of the medal, the sculptor modelled a female nude running and bearing the Olympic torch with the Olympic rings in the background. On the back of the medal the artist depicted a flight of eagles rising from the Olympic Stadium of Rome and disappearing in the sky. This original conception at the same time symbolises the victories in the Olympic Games and their echo throughout the world. The Arts Committee, having obtained the approval of the Organising Committee, also entrusted Prof. Emilio Greco with the creation of a giant statue symbolising " The Olympic Torch ". This work by the sculptor Greco, inspired by modern figurative art, was placed close to the Palazzo dello Sport, at the highest point overlooking the waterfall and the small lake. The original model, presented by the sculptor to the Exhibition of Sport in History and Art, was set up in the centre of the main staircase in the Palazzo delle Scienze at E.U.R.
In addition, under the auspices of the Italian Numismatic Society, a special gold medal for numismatic purposes only was coined and officially circulated, with the full agreement of the Organizing Committee of the Games. The medal, the work of the sculptor Renato Signorini, was coined in six different sizes. The rim of the largest sized medal bore the following inscription:— MMDCCXXXVI AB IN. OLYMPIIS MMDCCXIII AB U.C. MCMLX A CH.N.
The Arts Committee, in agreement with the Superintendency of Monuments in Lazio and with the Rome Municipality, decided on holding sports venues in the Caracalla Baths for gymnastics and in the Basilica of Maxentius for wrestling.

Historical sports events

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It should be remembered that the General Direction of Antiquities and Fine Arts allowed all athletes and sports organisers free access to Museums, Galleries, Monuments and Excavations of Antiquities which formed part of State property, while the Rome Municipality did likewise for Municipal Museums.
In addition, the Arts Committee approved the following historical sports events: (1) The Florentine Football Match; (2) The Game of the Pisa Bridge; (3) The Crossbowmen's Tournament; (4) The Ascoli Piceno Quintain Tilting; (5) The Foligno Quintain Tilting.
The realization of these spectacles was entrusted to the Ente Nazionale Industrie Turistiche (Italian State Tourist Office). The events themselves, whose grandiose and evocative character ensured their complete success, were however faced in the preparatory stages with considerable difficulties and the consequent excitement of the organizers may be imagined when, after two years of work and worry, the Crossbowmen's Tournament finally took place in the gorgeous setting of a floodlit Circus Maximus on the night of 20th August. The contest between the cities of Gubbio and San Sepolcro with 400 persons in their glittering costumes was celebrated in the presence of the Head of the Government and a crowd of over twenty-five thousand spectators, for the most part foreigners.
The following day, the Foligno Quintain Tilting took place with some six hundred participants who included knights, pages and esquires, halbardiers, trumpeters, and drummers, some forty thousand spectators being present.
The Florentine Football Match played in the Piazza di Siena on the afternoon of 28th August brought an impressive number of spectators.
The event started with the procession of the five hundred participants along Via Veneto preceded by a hundred torch-bearers accompanied by the rhythmic rolling of drums, and amidst tremendous general enthusiasm.
The fourth event took place on 4th September in Circus Maximus, before an enthusiastic crowd of the forty thousand persons. This was the famous Ascoli Piceno Quintain, the knightly tournament based on strictly historical traditions from as far back as 1387. Nine hundred persons representing the population of the various quarters, with their own banners, consuls, ladies and maids-of-honour, pages, jousting knights, armigers and halbardiers, took part in the pageant.
The last of the five competitions, the ancient Game of the Pisa Bridge which took place on the night of 10th September in Circus Maximus, brought the cycle of representations worthily to a close, with fifty thousand persons present. In this Game, decreed in 1490, two factions participate (Tramontana and Mezzogiorno), respectively from the North and South of the River Arno, and each composed of three hundred and eighty participants with their various banners.
To permit the public more easily to follow the various phases of the five historical pageants, the E.N.I.T. (Italian State Tourist Office) arranged for the publication of a pamphlet, with a circulation of 500,000 copies, containing the history of the individual events, in Italian, French, English, German, and Spanish. It also provided for the publication of 50,000 posters, displayed throughout Italy and especially in the offices of travel agencies and air and steamship companies.
In connection with the propaganda programme, the publication of a pamphlet in four languages on the canoeing and rowing events at Castelgandolfo should also be remembered and more especially the realization of a shortlength film which, with skilful shots, succeeded in capturing the manifold aspects of the Capital by day and night. This film, in colour and Cinemascope, was distributed throughout the world, with a circulation of 70 copies in full-size film and 120 copies in 16 mm. film.
Lastly, the E.N.I.T. in agreement with the Italian Automobile Club printed a million copies of a special publication illustrating the motor routes converging on Rome from the various frontiers.

The exhibition of sports photography

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This outline of the artistic events organized directly by the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games would be incomplete without due mention of the " Olympic Exhibition of Sports Photography " in which unfortunately all too few National Olympic Committees participated.
As far as Italy was concerned, a national competition was organised by the Presidency of the C.O.N.I. with substantial prizes. At least 250 blackand- white photographs and almost as many colour photographs were presented within the time limits laid down in the announcement. After a careful choice by a special Jury of experts, the best works were gathered together in the halls of the Palazzo delle Esposizioni and put on public display.
Up to 31st March 1960, the time limit as announced in the regulations, the works presented for the Olympic Exhibition of Sports Photography, selected and sent directly by the National Olympic Committees, were 332 in blackand- white, and 53 in colour, all or almost all of the 30 X 40 size. The Organizing Committee then arranged for them to be placed in 40 X 50 cm. elegant metallic frames, covered with glass and grouped under countries on suitable panels which were arranged geometrically all around the 200 meters of corridors surrounding the Palazzo dello Sport at E.U.R. The exhibition was organized and directed by Avv. Nello Ciampi.
The countries sending in photographs, in reply to the invitation made to the various Olympic Committees, were: Argentine, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Finland, France, West Germany,  East Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, England, Iran, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Jugoslavia, Luxembourg, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Holland, Poland, Roumania, Spain, United States of America, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Hungary, and U.S.S.R.
All authors whose works, through the agency of the various Olympic Committees, were shown in the Exhibition received the General Catalogue, the Diploma of Merit, and the Commemorative Medal of the Games.
Independent of the initiatives taken by the Organizing Committee in the artistic field, the occasion of the Olympic Games gave rise to a number of other events, among which two were of especial importance: the first concerned well-known artists who were called on to express their sensations on the occasion of the great event and the other was intended for children who were asked to express, by means of drawing or painting, the world of their dreams as inspired by the Olympic Games.
The first of these two above-mentioned artistic manifestations appeared closely bound to tourism and, under the title of " Meeting with the tourist ", an original competition of pictorial art and photography took place, works inspired by the Olympic Games being displayed in the windows of the most elegant shops in the centre of the city. This manifestation, organised by the Italian Women Professionals and Artists Centre, under the patronage of the Provincial State Tourist Board and the newspaper " II Tempo ", was highly successful.
Taking part in the other artistic manifestation entitled " The Olympic Games " were the pupils of primary schools from all over the world. Children from 80 Countries participated in this initiative promoted by the Ministry of Education.

Sport in History and Art

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The most important cultural event, however, was undoubtedly the Exhibition of " Sport in History and Art ". The Exhibition was set up in Palazzo delle Scienze at E.U.R. and was inaugurated by the President of the Italian Republic on 14th July 1960, thereafter remaining open to the public until 8th January 1961.
The Exhibition was arranged by the Organizing Committee of the Games who entrusted its preparation and realization to the General Direction of Antiquities and Fine Arts of the Ministry of Education.
The principal aim of the Exhibition was to present a wide range of iconographic and bibliographic material of all sorts so as to offer visitors the most complete picture possible both of the various aspects of sports in Italian life from antiquity down to the end of the XIXth century, through Etrusco-Italic, Roman and Italian works of art, and of Greek artistic documentation which have come down to us in the shape of works conserved in Italian museums.
A preliminary study of the vast range of material was undertaken as far back as 1956 by Dr. Vighi who, after numerous exchanges of ideas with the General Director of Fine Arts and with the Organizing Committee of the Games, at the beginning of 1957 presented a report illustrating " the importance of sport, in all its various aspects, in classical antiquity as a fount of artistic inspiration. In fact, the two words " art " and " sport " were inseparable in ancient Greece, to the point that the birth and evolution of Greek art cannot be conceived without the constant plastic, linear, and dynamic experience offered to the artist in the exercises of the gymnasium, events in the stadium, and the very bodies of the athletes whether at rest or in movement.
The heritage of the vast Greek patrimony of experience and artistic production passed to the Romans, and was preserved and passed on by them to subsequent civilizations. Almost all Greek sculptures have come down to us by means of copies made by the Romans between the I and II centuries A.D. and rediscovered in Italy; a large number of these, today conserved in our museums and in those of the great European cities, represent athletes and agonistics, an obvious proof of the predilection of the Romans, not only generically, for all Greek works of art but especially for those with a sports theme ".
The plan of the exhibition
Dr. Vighi's report—of which we have quoted a short passage—was approved by the Arts Committee and by the Organizing Committee. In consequence, Dr. Vighi was appointed to preside over a select study Committee for the preparation and planning of the Exhibition composed of: Prof. Franco Minissi, architect, Dr. Guglielmo Triches, of the Ministry of Education, Dr.
Michele Carlo Formica, administrator, Dr. Romolo Passamonti and Prof. Antonio Zanelli, with the subsequent addition of Dr. Emidio Cerulli of the Central National Library at Rome.
The bibliographic research and preparatory work was carried out by Vighi, with the collaboration of Romolo Passamonti, Luigi Salerno, Emilio Cerulli, Vera Bianco, Maria Letizia Casanova, Sofia Letizia Cottone, Mirella Fantoli and Maria Luisa Vianello.
The preparation of models, designs, geographical maps, and drawings was entrusted to Nicola Labianca, Achille De Quaglietti, Alberto Di Battista, Bruno Colonnello, Siro Salinetti, Agostino Manetti, under the technical direction of Antonio Zanelli. The photographic reproductions were by Mario Leoni.
The huge volume of material collected was arranged and subdivided according to the criterion of bringing the ranks of sportsmen closer to art, by attempting to rouse in them an immediate interest in the best-known and most famous representations, that is to say, a division was made according to material which allowed a substantially novel contribution to be made to sports iconography.

Arrangement of the works

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Thus the arrangement followed the idea of grouping works together according to the different classes of sport, in such a way that each clearly showed results and details, with the modifications and evolution through the ages.
The Exhibition was subdivided into 28 sections, each of which included monuments and reproductions from Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the modern era. After a first section which brought together themes of a general nature, such as athletic competitions, gymnasium scenes, victories, prize-giving ceremonies, and sport for young people, a further 23 sections were devoted to individual sports: Running, Jumping, Discus and Javelin, Ball and Football, Swimming, Rowing, Fishing, Cycling, Mountaineering, Winter Sports, Wrestling, Boxing, Fencing, Gladiatorial Games, Game Shooting and Hunting, Target Shooting, Equestrian Sports, Jousts, and Tournaments.
In each of these sections the material was grouped in chronological order, while a section apart was devoted to Italian art from the Middle Ages to the XIX century. A further four sections were conceived which did not follow the criterion of arrangement by classes of sport and chronological divisions, one being dedicated to sports buildings from Antiquity to the XIX century, another to modern Olympic buildings, a third to prize-winners in modern Olympic Games and a fourth to the " ex-libris " inspired by sport.
The basis of this arrangement was, above all, didactic. Quite apart from any consideration of a critical nature, it was intended to draw the attention of sportsmen to the historical aspect of sport by means of iconography and publications; in fact, the sports installations throughout the ages proved of the greatest interest. This aim was reached by supplementing the original works of art with a vast bibliographic, photographic, and plastic documentation, drawing together all the essential elements of each theme and in many cases a wealth of examples.
From the didactic point of view, the reconstructions of sports buildings, especially of gymnasiums and dioramas were especially important, these last translating into plastic terms the most noteworthy sports scenes represented in pictures and engravings of the XVI to the XIX centuries: the Florentine Football Match, the Venetian Regatta, the Fencing Academy, the Race of the Coachmen, the Spheristerium, the Game of the Pisa Bridge, the Tournaments of Bologna and Rome, etc.
Mention should also be made of the mosaic copies, executed directly on originals by the group of mosaic workers of Ravenna, of the two famous mosaics of Piazza Armerina, one depicting the Girl Gymnasts and the other the chariot Races in Circus Maximus.
The 28 sections of the Exhibition were set up on the first floor of Palazzo delle Scienze at E.U.R. and covered an area of over 7,000 sq. m. The exhibits were more than 2,300, 1,000 of these being originals,  including statues and bas-reliefs, Greek, Italic, and Etruscan vases, bronzes, ivories, pictures, armour, mosaics, engravings, manuscripts, and books, etc. More than one hundred Italian Museums (State, Provincial, Municipal, and private) made contributions in the form of original works of art, whilst over thirty Libraries, through the agency of the General Direction of Academies and Libraries sought out and sent manuscripts, publications, and prints on sports themes.
The Exhibition Committee, composed of the Superintendents of Antiquities, the Superintendents of Galleries, the Directors of Museums and Libraries, the Priors of the Districts of Siena, the Presidents and Directors of the Provincial Tourist Boards and scholars and collaborators had as President Dr. Gaetano Predone, Inspector-General of Antiquities and Fine Arts and as Vice- Presidents Prof. Francesco Barberi, Inspector-General of Academies and Libraries, Prof. Filippo Rossi, Superintendent of the Florence Galleries and Prof.Antonio M. Colini, Director of the Rome Municipal Museums.
The Bibliographic Committee which undertook the selection, research, and loaning of manuscripts and publications, was composed of: Prof. Guido Arcamone, Counsellor of State and onetime Director-General of Academies and Libraries, Prof. Attilio Frajese, Director-General of Academies and Libraries, Prof. Ettore Apollonj, President of the National Council for Popular and School Libraries, Dr. Bruno Zauli, Secretary-General of the C.O.N.I., Prof. Guido Rispoli, Director of the National Council of Popular and School Libraries, Prof. Francesco Barberi, Inspector-General of Academies and Libraries, Dr. Osvaldo Del Grosso of the General Direction of Academies and Libraries, Dr. Manfredi De Vita of the General Direction of Academies and Libraries, Dr. Domenico Caiazza, of the General Direction of Academies and Libraries, Dr. Laura de Felice, Director of the Vittorio Emanuele II Central National Library in Rome, Dr. Roberto Vighi, Director of the Exhibition of Sport in History and Art, Dr. Salvatore Fabbri, of the National Council of Popular and School Libraries, Dr. Sofia Letizia Cottone, of the National Council of Popular and School Libraries.
An idea of the success of the Exhibition may more readily be gained from the months following the period of the Olympic Games, by the impressive attendance of school children and the interest shown by young people —more than 18,000—by teachers, and devotees of the various forms of sport, many of whom made a special journey from abroad to visit the Exhibition and obtain from it ideas for their own Museums and Institutes.
Of considerable didactic importance, especially for propaganda purposes, were three initiatives created by the Exhibition: a documentary film in colour produced by the LUCE National Institute and the National Council for Popular and School Libraries, intended for showing all over the world together with the film " The Great Olympiad "; a second documentary entitled " The Torch ", produced by Urbe Films, directed by Nino Zucchelli and intended for schools; and lastly, the publication of an art volume by the Organising Committee of the Games to contain, in accordance with the same arrangement as the Exhibition, thirty-five works of art on a sports theme, clearly and richly presented, as well as the publication of the Official Catalogue of the Exhibition, a volume of 150 pages of text and 142 plates composed of 200 illustrations.
At the final closing of the Exhibition on 8th January 1961 the Ministry of Education and the C.O.N.I. decided to place the material available in a " Permanent Sports Exhibition ", which would serve as a tangible souvenir of the Rome Olympic Games in the cultural field, at the disposal of scholars and sportsmen from all over the world.

Fete at the Pincio

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The Arts Section took the opportunity of collaborating with the Provincial Tourist Board in Rome on the occasion of a number of manifestations of an artistic and spectacular nature organised in ancient settings of particular appeal.
Among the most noteworthy manifestations arranged by the Provincial Tourist Board mention must be made of:—Shakespeare's " Julius Caesar " organised from 23rd August to 1st September in the Roman Theatre at Ostia Antica and the ballet performance organised at the Ninfeo di Villa Giulia.
In addition to the above-mentioned manifestations, the Provincial Tourist Board took the initiative of offering the members of the International Olympic Committee a special performance of " Sounds and Lights " which took place on 7th September in the evocative setting of the Roman Forum.
Finally, the Provincial Tourist Board, in collaboration with the Organising Committee of the Games, the Rome Commune, the A.C.E.A. and the Rome Opera, realised the final splendid Fete, which took place in the Pincio Gardens, by night, after the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games.
The Pincio, which was reserved on this occasion to guests only, saw the gathering of over twelve thousand persons including the Prime Minister, members of the Government, Members of Parliament, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Officials of the C.O.N.I., and the I.O.C., Foreign Missions, journalists, athletes and organisers. The Minister of Entertainment and Tourism, the Hon. Folchi, acted as host, after transmitting the greetings of the Italian Government to all these present.
The Band of the Carabinieri and the orchestra, choir and corps de ballet of the Rome Opera House took part in the evening's programme, with the collaboration of famous operatic singers who sang well-known themes from Italian operas.
The festivity was crowned by a magnificent fireworks display, a worthy and spectacular conclusion to the Games of the XVII Olympiad.  At a prearranged signal the heights bordering the horizon of the Pincio, from Monte Mario to the Aventine, were illuminated with thousands and thousands of brilliant flashes and luminous showers. Subsequently, Castel Sant'Angelo too was lit up with fireworks differing from the Italian ones in their particularly elegant fragile quality, these being offered by the Japanese Olympic Committee, almost as if to form a link between the Games of Rome and the 1964 Games of Tokyo.
Piazza del Popolo, the facade of the Valadier, the steps leading up to the Pincio, Porta del Popolo and the three Churches were artistically illuminated by over 5,000 Roman torches, whilst the Pincio, thanks to the collaboration of the Commune and the A.C.E.A., presented a unique sight with thousands of lamps and invisible reflectors placed between the trees which projected various tonalities of light and colour.
A detail that went far in creating an indelible memory of the festivity for visitors and Romans alike was the unique sight of Rome with brilliant illuminations for the occasion on all its towers, cupolas, bell-towers and principal monuments, whilst a multitude of searchlights raked the sky, their rhythmic play ever centred on the cupola of Saint Peter's whose massive outline, bathed in a concentric wave of light, now and then loomed up from the shadows, standing, as it would seem, symbolic guard over the Eternal City.