In the first half of December 2019, a restoration funded by the patrons of the Swiss foundation Evergete has returned the north wall of the left aisle of the basilica with its decoration and the stucco, in whose dough the mother of pearl was also mixed. The south wall restoration was also decided.
In the opinion of experts, the underground building located in Porta Maggiore, dating back to the 1st century AD, was the tomb of the family of the Statili, considered very close toEmperor Augustus. For others, however, the underground Basilica was the site of mystery, neo-Pythagorean cults (its measurements all have a relationship with the number three) or orphic.
The latest findings of Superintendency of Rome tend to endorse both interpretations sequentially.
Very soon a new light will illuminate the internal stuccos of the Underground Basilica of Porta Maggiore, while in the teaching room, located on the ground floor, augmented reality will allow visitors to look closely at the decorations.
Since its discovery in 1917 (it was accidentally found during the consolidation works of the above railway tracks), the Underground Basilica of Porta Maggiore has always fascinated archeology scholars and more. The small building (40 feet long by 30 feet wide, for a total of 1,220 square feet in total), has the classic central nave scheme with side wings divided by pillars plus the apse at the bottom.
Three are the rooms in this ancient and mysterious building in Rome: Dromos (access from the ancient via Prenestina, a long sloping corridor that led from the surface to the Basilica underground), Vestibule (the entrance, decorated with polychrome stuccos) and Basilica (with the three naves and the apse entirely decorated with white stuccos).
Scenes from the Greek-Roman repertoire (the labors of Hercules, the kidnapping of Ganymede, Hermes and Alcestis, Medusa, Baccanti etc.) and objects used for religious rites (canteens, lustral amphorae) appear in the decorative apparatus of the Vestibule and the basilica hall. , etc.). The interpretation of the apsidal basin with the representation of Sappho in the act of launching himself from the cliff of Lefkada in the presence of Apollo and Faonte is very debated.