601 Broad Street, Rome, GA 30161
The Capitoline Wolf with Romulus and Remus stands in front of historic City Hall on Broad Street in downtown Rome. The statue was an official gift from the Roman Governor, by a signed order of the Italian Dictator, Benito Mussolini and was presented when Chatillion Corporation Silk Mills of Milan, Italy relocated to Georgia’s Rome in 1929.
The statue is an exact replica of the Etruscan art that stands in the Palazzo dei Conservatori on Campidoglio (Ancient Capitoline Hill) in Rome, Italy.
The mythical tale of Romulus and Remus has all the makings of a modern day epic. The twins were sons of Mars, the god of war, and Rhea Silvia, daughter of King Numitor of Alba Longa. King Numitor was overthrown by his brother, Amulius, who then ordered Romulus and Remus to be cast into the Tiber River. They were rescued by a she-wolf who cared for them until a herdsman found and raised them. Romulus and Remus grew and after
reclaiming Alba Longa for King Numitor, the brothers began plans for a city near the site of their rescue on the banks of the Tiber. During a quarrel over the city’s name, Romulus killed Remus. He then built the city giving it his name.
The statue’s first years in Georgia’s Rome were not without controversy. While most people appreciated the statue and considered it a work of art, many others were offended by it and felt it was shocking and not something to be viewed by ladies and children. Often, when important events were scheduled at the City Auditorium, the twins were diapered and the wolf was draped.
In 1933, one of the twins-no one ever knew whether it was Romulus or Remus – was kidnapped from the pedestal. Neither kidnapper nor the twin was ever found, but through the efforts of the Rome Rotary Club and the International Rotary, another twin was sent from Italy to replace the missing one.
War left its mark on the Capitoline Wolf and her adopted human babies. When Italy declared war on the Allies in 1940, threats to dynamite and destroy the statue became so numerous that the Rome City Commission ordered the statue removed and stored for safety.
In 1952 a movement was started by citizens and art lovers to restore the statue and on September 8, 1952, after an absence of twelve years, the 1,500-pound statue of the Capitoline Wolf was again placed on its pedestal in front of City Hall.
The Capitoline Wolf was involved in an event of historic significance on July 16, 1996 when the Olympic Torch paused at the statue on its way to the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta. A bronze marker by local artist Tim Rush has been placed on the lawn of City Hall to commemorate this moment in time.