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Heir of the 18th century Grand Tour and based upon the constellation formed by the Academies and international Institutes situated in the Roman territory, the project Eternal Tour is designed as an scientific and artistic experiment. It will try to involve Fellows of Institutes and Academies as well as citizens of Rome and international experts in the implementation of a series of theoretical, methodological and political problematics, which will take place from 3 to 13 July 2008.

 The Grand Tour is the initiatory journey carried on by the aristocratic youth in eighteenth century continental Europe. The destinations and stopovers were originally multiple, Italy being one of the preferred targets, in particular Rome for its ancient ruins and its artistic richness, but also Switzerland, for its landscapes and mountains. During the Tour, young people from the most important and wealthier families learned about the politics, culture, languages and art of the countries they visited.
In this sense, the trip presupposed 1. a particular geography of nations-states drawn with a knife, which discovery was organized according to a specific directional and predefined movement. 2. a strong hierarchy of classes, restraining the number of those who had the means to travel, who often limited themselves to meeting with their peers, building friendly contacts with young people from the same social milieu and promised, when in their home countries, to the same diplomatic , military, political or commercial future: it thus helped to foster the formation of social bonds among an elite, through a strategy of cultural hegemony, 3. mapping very clearly what should be seeing, based on a scale of common and further strengthened aesthetic values.

Through an approach both scientific and artistic, the project Eternal Tour will attempt to give place, time and form to three related problematics: First, it will look at the categories of classification implemented in the Travel Guides or by large initiatives, such as the Encyclopédie. On the other hand, it will try to question the geography of state-nations inherited from previous centuries, and their dissolution in a hypothetical European, or possibly cosmopolitan, ideal. Eventually, it would like to test the possibility of a decentralized and distributed power. If power recovers everything, can we also in turn recover it? Better than a workshop or a laboratory, Rome appears to be the ideal framework for a practical implementation of these questions. The constellation of Academies and Institutes based on the international territory of the Eternal City will enable us to experiment on the scale of a city the interactions, movements and shadows of a segmented mapping.



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