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From 12 October 2013 Rome’s Chiostro del Bramante will be hosting an exhibition that is bound to make an impression. Showcasing 180 work of art, it revolves around one of history’s most fabled and controversal women: Cleopatra.

The world’s most important museums have joined forces to loan out numerous prestigious pieces for several months, giving rise to one of the most fascinating and spectacular exhibitions of the year.

Produced by Arthemisia Group, with its undisputed track record for staging major successful exhibitions, in collaboration with Dart Chiostro del Bramante and curated by Giovanni Gentili, who previously curated the memorable exhibition devoted to Julius Caesar, the Cleopatra exhibition not only explores her life but for the first time examines her relationship with Rome. She was barely 20 when she suduced first Julio Caesar then Mark Anthony, interlacing sex and power in a way that has been instrumental in shaping world history ever since. Not particularly beautiful but a great seductress, intelligent and determined, cultured and refined, and known for her brillant mind, she drew her strength from her free, independent personality. Perhaps the world’s very first celebrity, her reign had a cultural and political impact the like of which has not been seen since. Destined to be an icon from the start, Cleopatra is undoubtedly one of the most often portrayed and controversial figures in world history. The exhibition goes on to explore Cleopatra’s “Roman years” (from 46 to 44 B.C.), during which, as the rare, precious archeological treasures in the exhibition show, Roman customs and fashions were heavily influenced by the Queen and her court. While the ladies of the capital began to sport Egyptian hairstyles and wear jewellary featuring the image of the sacred uraeus, (the snake that symbolised Egyptian sovereignty and immortality), homes, villas and gardens were decorated with paintings, mosaics, sculptures and furnishings inspired by the “magical” kingdom: Egyptomania was in full swing. Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, the last Queen of Egypt from 69 to 30 B.C., left an indelible mark on her era.

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