The most precious jewelry collection in the world is to be shown outside of Naples for the first time. It will be on display at the Palazzo Sciarra in Rome from Oct. 30 to Feb. 16.
With promotional support from the Fondazione Roma and organization by the Fondazione Roma – Arte – Musei along with the Museo del Tesoro di San Gennaro, the exhibition at Palazzo Sciarra (OCTOBER 30, 2013 to FEBRUARY 16, 2014) brings a significant number of masterpieces from the Treasure of San Gennaro outside of the city of Naples for the first time. The treasure includes the most important jewelry collection in the world along with original documents, paintings, drawings, vestments, altar cloths and holy vessels, which recount the extraordinary history of a religion, a city and a population.
With 25 million Catholics throughout the world, San Gennaro is the most famous and recognized Catholic saint in the world. The treasure dedicated to him is one-of-a-kind.
This treasure is more precious than the British Crown Jewels or the jewels of the Russian czars and encompass more than 700 years of history thanks to numerous donations by popes, emperors, kings and common people. It has remained intact since then without ever having been sold off or stolen. The exhibition features more than 90 works of inestimable value and follows a path that is scientific and emotional as well, dedicated to the evolution of the cult of San Gennaro and the art of Neapolitan jewelry making, which led to the creation of the masterpieces on display.
Goppion realized the display cases for the two masterpieces at the center of the exhibition – the San Gennaro necklace in gold, silver and precious stones realized in 1679 and the miter headdress in gold-plated silver with 3,326 diamonds, 164 rubies, 198 emeralds and 2 garnets created in 1713, which means that this year marks the 300-year anniversary of the creation of the piece.
The two display cases are island models covered entirely in extra-clear crystal. These cases have high-level features of preventative conservation. Relative humidity control is supplied by a silica-gel-based passive system while magnetic gaskets guarantee air tightness.
Security is tight with a tamper-proof system, which is guaranteed thanks to the use of two different types of locks – one that is mechanical and another that is electrical and was studied and created especially for the display cases. The edges and corners of the display cases are protected via steel reinforcements. The inside is made up of a plinth in a shade of optical black to highlight the brightness of the precious pieces on display. Knowing use of lighting from above also serves to accentuate the pieces with focused LED spotlights that also reduce the light spectrum in order to make sure the details stand out. This system is highly personalizable and able to meet all exhibition needs.