Over 160 years of diplomatic relations between Italy and Denmark
We can certainly say that the Italians and Danes do share a love for impeccable and stylish design but their connections don’t simply end there. Traces of the Danish presence in Rome, for instance, can already be found in the early 19th century when a “Book collection of Danes in Rome”, a precursor of the Scandinavian Circle, has reportedly been founded.
In 2021, Italy and Denmark, whose people are notably considered among the happiest in the world, commemorated 160 years of diplomatic relations, celebrating the birth of a solid bond of friendship and cooperation that has connected the two countries for over a century and a half.
Danes themselves like to think of their country as the “Italy of the North”
The Danish Academy, or Det Danske Institut i Rom, undoubtedly plays its part in maintaining a deep cultural and social bonding between the two countries. Initially, the Academy was founded in Via Zanardelli in 1956 and was moved to its current location in Valle Giulia only in 1967, after extensive construction works financed by the J.C. Jacobsen. The centre of Danish culture in Rome was inaugurated with the aim of promoting cultural and artistic excellence in Rome.
Discover Danish or vernacular modernism in Valle Giulia
The building itself, an excellent expression of Scandinavian functionalism, was designed by the Danish architect Kay Fisker between 1961 and 1962, together with R.D. Mortensen, S. Hegsbro and L. Rubino. This impressive edifice would be Kay Fisker’s last official commission and his Scandinavian roots can unequivocally be perceived in his final work.
The wooden low ceiling and the repeating elements of the interior design will make you feel transported to one of Kubrik’s iconic movie set while the overall structure of the academy, erected around a central courtyard and organized on several levels, enhance the unique tridimensionality of the building.
The Institute has a research library that gathers about 20,000 titles including journals, books, music and e-resources. The collection covers subjects related to the Institute’s work, mainly archaeology, philology, literary and theatre studies, Italian topography, architecture, art history and music.
Through the Queen Ingrid’s Roman Foundation, established in 1957, the Institute can offer scholarships to researchers and artists, to enable them to pursue their scientific or artistic studies in Rome.
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