In classical culture, sport was synonymous with "aretè", the virtue to spend in life and, above all, in the military sphere: nowadays, on the threshold of the Third Millennium, sport is a way to develop new values and share them with other people.
MANN will be part of the cultural programme of the Universiade Napoli 2019 thanks to the exhibition "Paideia. Youth and sports in ancient times", scheduled from July 1st - inauguration at 05:00 PM - to November 4th: 25 relics will be shown to the public in “Sala dei Tirannicidi”. Those archaeological remains come directly from the museum deposits, where they have been stored for over twenty years along with some works from the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
The exhibit includes Panathenaic Amphorae (which, in ancient Greece, usually contained oil and were given as an award to competition winners), vessels decorated with representations of different sports disciplines, frescoes of the Vesuvian cities with depictions of fights and chariot races, marble sculptures of athletes and inscriptions from ancient Naples.
Panels will be scattered inside the Museum, blending in with the permanent collections, exploring themes related to sports in ancient times: the social role of the athlete, the most popular sports (e.g., wrestling and boxing, the traditional torch races from ancient Naples, races with dogs, athletics), the female figure in the world of sports (women would usually compete during religious ceremonies and in sanctuaries dedicated to female deities).
"Welcome Universiade! The National Archaeological Museum is about to experience an unforgettable event for Naples and Italy – stated Paolo Giulierini, MANN director - In the past few months we have been working in great synergy with the 30th Summer Universiade Napoli 2019 Organizing Committee and Regione Campania. Today we feel proud and excited: we will keep the torch here, in the heart of the city that hosted the Isolympic Games, and where sport
has always been a part of people’s life. We will also open our doors to the young athletes coming from 127 countries, doing our best to make them feel at home. As a tribute to the values of the Universiade we created 'Paideia', an invaluable exhibition with findings that have been hidden from the public for a long time, from decorated vases to mosaics, as well as important relics loaned from other museums. However, as is widely known, there are many examples of sports in ancient times included in our collections, that will be further enriched in July with 'Magna Grecia' exhibition. We are looking forward to seeing you, the whole world is invited".
The show "Patrizio VS Oliva" draws inspiration from the classical mythological tradition and especially from the sacred figure of Ananke (the Greek pre-Olympic Goddess of Fate). The show is scheduled to take place on July 1st, at 06:00 PM, at the National Archaeological Museum during the inauguration of "Paideia": the famous Olympic and world boxing champion, Universiade Ambassador, will be on stage with Rossella Pugliese to narrate the beauty and complexity of the “boxing ring of life”; the play, based on the biography "Sparviero - la mia storia" by Patrizio and Fabio Rocco Oliva, will be directed by Alfonso Postiglione.
The passage of the Universiade Torch at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples will symbolize the partnership with the international sporting event: as icon of peace, cohesion and brotherhood, the Torch will arrive at MANN on Tuesday evening, July 2nd, to “rest” (this is the term chosen in the attempt to express the personification and the emotional value of the Flame) there after a long journey across the Italian Peninsula. The symbolic stages of this route include the departure from Turin and Pope Francis’ blessing, which took place in Piazza San Pietro.
Finally, in order to fully experience the connection between sports and culture, Naples’ National Archaeological Museum will grant free access to accredited participants (delegation members, athletes, journalists) and Universiade volunteers. They will be able to view the museum collections and the “Paideia” exhibition from July 1st to July 20th; event ticket holders will be able to access MANN at a nominal fee of 2 euros.