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Pasquino

Pasquino (56)

Pasquino is Rome’s most famous talking statue and is located by the rear facade of Palazzo Braschi, near what used to be the shop of a well-known tailor from the period, who was known by the name of Pasquino. 

The worn marble torso was part of a fragment of a Hellenistic work from the third century AD, and probably represents an incident from the Iliad in which Menelaus covers the dead body of Patroclus. The statue stood for years in a narrow medieval street until its was moved to its current site in 1501.

As to how the statue came by its name, one may only hazard a guess and most of the guesses have their origin in legend. Some say that Pasquino was a Roman personality, well-known for his satirical verses. At a time when there was no freedom of expression, he opted to stick his criticisms on this statue.

It appears that other Romans started to imitate Pasquino, and placed their verses not only on this statue, but also on other sculptures in the city. The figure of Pasquino thus kept up interesting dialogues with Rome’s other talking statues, such as Marforio and Babuino. 

Despite the statue’s current appearance of decay, in the past it aroused great admiration from artists, including Michelangelo himself. 

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