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Scarves on Statues – Lupo Capitolino

[Previous instalments in the ‘Scarves on Statues’ series can be found here]

The Capitoline Wolf, situated in the Capitoline Museum on Rome’s Capitoline Hill, is unsurprisingly the symbol of Italy’s capital city and its football club. It depicts the legendary figures of Romulus and Remus being suckled by a she-wolf after they washed up, orphaned, on the banks of the River Tiber where Rome now stands.

The story goes that when they decided to build a city, they quarrelled about whether it should be situated on the slopes of the Palatine Hill as was Romulus’s preference, or Remus’s favoured Aventine Hill. They asked the gods to settle the dispute, but the gods gave the distinct impression they really couldn’t care less, so the brothers let their fists make the final determination. Romulus killed Remus in the struggle and named the great city he founded after himself.

As for the statue itself, the wolf is Etruscan in origin and dates back to around 500 BC, while the twins are thought to have been added at some point around the 13-1400s. This copy of the Lupo Capitolino is found in the Italian Renaissance section of Hamilton Gardens.

It’s the last round of the Serie A season this weekend. Roma, for the second year running, has nothing left to play for. Their only hope of European football next season is the Coppa Italia final being played next week. After that, the post-mortems will begin. Let’s hope, albeit perhaps forlornly, that the tifosi can be relatively civil and not kill each other in the struggle…


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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots football enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent club on earth - A.S. Roma. More info (including e-mail address) can be found here:

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