Rome 2006: Opening of a new pavilion housing the Altar of Peace, beside the Tiber river, created by
American architect Richard Meier - who also designed the new "Jubilee Church" in Tor Tre Teste,
6 miles east of the city.
The Ara Pacis is an ancient piece of political propaganda. In the guise of an altar to the goddess
of Peace, it was an unsubtle reminder to the citizens of Rome that the peace and prosperity they
were enjoying (in the years immediately before the birth of Christ) were in great part due to the
Pax Augusta, brought about by the Julio-Claudian imperial dynasty.
In the 1930s, as part of a project to mark the 2000th anniversary of Augustus and after some
spectacular archaeological work, the remnants of the Altar were raised from the ground and reunited
with sections of the sculpture work brought back from museums and private collections around
Europe. A building to house the reassembled Altar was commissioned by Mussolini, as part of the
renewal of Piazza Augusto Imperatore. In 1999 Meier was asked to design a replacement.
(See____ http://en.arapacis.it/ or____www.ara-pacis.com )