Storia dell’arte 151-152, Gennaio-Dicembre 2019
Argan e Rotondi: un’intervista sull’ “Operazione Salvataggio”
This paper comments an interview given by Professor Giulio Carlo Argan, on November 4, 1987, to Pier Damiano Mandelli, President of the Province of Pesaro and Urbino, and to his collaborator Mario Omiccioli. The typescript, spurious in many parts, is now conserved in the Archivio Centrale dello Stato in Rome within the donation of the private archive of Pasquale Rotondi, Superintendent of the Regione Marches’ Galleries, between 1939 and 1944. This document, so far little known, proves to be a direct source for reconstructing the events of the “Operazione Salvataggio”, the most considerable safeguard operation of national artistic heritage during World War II, providing numerous thoughts on the relationship between its multiple protagonists. Thanks to Prof. Argan, inspector for the Ministry of Education, Pasquale Rotondi managed to temporarily relocate numerous masterpieces from major Italian churches and galleries in the Vatican State, throughout the cold winter of 1943.