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Rome returns to the 70s to celebrate art heyday

The heady years of artistic experimentation and cosmopolitan life in Rome in the 1970s are the subject of a new exhibition that opens in the Italian capital on Tuesday.

Rome returns to the 70s to celebrate art heyday
A man visits the exhibition "Anni 70 Arte a Roma". Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

Two hundreds works by some of the most famous artists of the time, including Alberto Burri, Cy Twombly, Jannis Kounellis and Sol Lewitt are on show at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni.

The main artistic currents of the time are represented, including Arta Povera and Transavanguardia, as well as the lesser known "Anarchitecture" and "Narrative Art".

"The 1970s were a decade of contradictions, of fear and of death," Rome's deputy mayor Flavia Barca said at the opening, referring to the years of violent political militancy known in Italy as the "Years of Lead".

"But they also evoke words like reform, participation, communication, freedom," she said, adding that Rome at the time was like "a giant creative laboratory".

The show runs until March 2.

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ROME

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome’s River Tiber

The body of a missing 21-year-old tourist was found in the River Tiber on Thursday morning, according to media reports.

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome's River Tiber

Elijah Oliphant, from Dallas, Texas, was on holiday with his family in Rome when he went missing several days ago.

Oliphant’s parents reported his disappearance after he left his hotel room shortly after midnight on May 24th and did not return.

Hotel security footage showed him leaving the premises wearing a white undershirt and pyjama bottoms, which he was wearing when he was found.

Oliphant’s corpse was reportedly spotted by passersby near the Ponte Sisto bridge in Rome’s Trastevere district around 10am on Thursday morning. His body was positively identified by his parents.

Members of the fire brigade and river police who recovered the body say there were no obvious signs of violence, but an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Trastevere police are reportedly investigating the matter.

The Oliphant family had arrived in Rome for a holiday on May 23rd. When Elijah went missing the following day, his parents launched an urgent appeal to help find their son.

His disappearance was featured on the missing persons television show, Chi l’ha visto (‘Who’s seen them?’) on May 25th.

Several foreigners have been found drowned in the Tiber in recent years, though there are no indication that any of the incidents are linked.

In 2016, the body of 19-year-old American student Beau Solomon was recovered from the river.

Rough sleeper Massimo Galioto was charged involuntary manslaughter in the case, but was ultimately acquitted in 2020.

Prosecutors said that Galioto pushed Solomon in the course of a violent argument. Galioto’s defense team acknowledged that the two had argued but said the student had accidentally slipped.

In May 2019, 37-year-old Imen Chatbouri, a former athletics champion from Tunisia, was found dead in the Tiber after a night out. CCTV footage later showed she had been pushed from the Ponte Sisto bridge.

A then-26-year-old man whose advances she had rejected earlier that evening was convicted of her murder in November 2021.

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