Title: Roman Wolf
Creator: Giuseppe Ciocchetti
Medium: bronze, marble, flagstone, concrete
Dimensions: 33 inches (height) x 47 1/2 inches (width) x 19 inches (depth), approximately; Base: 33 inches (height) x 72 1/2 inches (width) x 35 1/2 inches (depth); 250 pounds (weight), approximately
This replica of The Capitoline Wolf in Rome, Italy was a controversial gift. Also known as Romulus and Remus, it depicts a famous moment in the mythology of the founding of Rome, Italy. King Romulus and his twin Remus were orphaned as babies but survived by nursing from the teats of a mother wolf.
Alfonso Felici, Chairman of the "Italian Friends in Italy," first proposed the gift of the statue in exchange for a snow plow when Rome, Italy was unexpectedly buried under 20" of snow. Although that didn't work out, the offer of the gift was still open. However, the Italian Friends were hoping their American counterparts would pay for them to deliver it. The City Council refused, but The Roman Wolf Committee was formed to raise the funds privately. When a location was proposed near the Armory, angry residents thought it too lewd for a public location and protested. Luckily, the Destito brothers offered space in front of their inn, The Beeches.
Felici had been a WWII hero, serving in a US artillery battalion, but was deported to Italy after the war. He returned illegally in 1952 and was deported again. When it came time for him to deliver the wolf, his visa was denied. The dedication of the statue on November 2, 1958 had to go on without him.
Inscription: "G. CIOCCHETTI-ROMA" on side of marble base under sculpture; "ROMAN WOLF STATUE/THIS SYMBOL OF ETERNAL CITY, A GIFT TO THE CITY OF ROME, NEW YORK/IS A TOKEN OF THE ESTEEM HELD BY/ITALIAN FRIENDS IN ITALY/FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE/ALFONSO FELICI, CHAIRMAN/ITALIANS FRIENDS IN ITALY/FRANK T. TAVERNA, CHAIRMAN/THE ROMAN WOLF COMMITTEE OF ROME, NY/DEDICATED NOVEMBER 2, 1958" on plaque on the ground behind statue
Subject: Public art, Outdoor Sculpture, Wolves, Romulus, King of Rome, Remus (Twin of Romulus, King of Rome), Mythology, Classical
Rights: This work is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1977 and without a copyright notice.
Find out more:
"Annals and Recollections (a publication of the Rome Historical Society, Rome, New York), 2 April 1986: cover.
Location: Beeches Complex, Turin & Potter Roads, Rome