Opening of the new headquarters in Rome
admin 18 February 2016

In March it will be inaugurated the new office of Cambi in Rome, which will look down from the windows of a historic building in the central Via del Babuino.

This will allow us to meet with more ease our Roman customers, and will certainly become a reference point for collectors and art enthusiasts in central and southern Italy.


For years, the auction house is also present in Rome and now with a permanent space. It was the growing number of customers who turned to us for advice, evaluations and entrusting that led us to take this important step, making Cambi finally present also in the capital, allowing us to better cover the national territory.

Here we will held days of expertise for all departments, small preview of the Genoese and Milanese auctions, conferences and cultural enrichment events; It will also be a meeting point for anyone who wants to talk to Cambi. Not just an office then, but a real living room where the owners and staff of experts of the auction house will be able to meet all those who want to deepen their knowledge of the works of art in their possession.




In 1525 Pope Clement VII commissioned some refurbishment of Via del Babuino, giving a unified aspect to the road that, in honour of the pontiff, was called “Via Clementina”; with the same criteria, following the work carried out by Paul III in about 1540, the road became “via Paolina.” In September 1571 it was granted by Pius V three ounces of water to “road Pauline” for the construction of a fountain for public use, on whose tank was placed the statue of the Silenus.


Campo Marzio, Fontana del Babuino


The statue, ugly and deformed, was named by the Romans “er babuino” because they considered it so repulsive to compare it to a monkey. The Silenus became a myth, the subject of jokes and satirical events, a symbol not only for the street, to which he gave the name, but also for the city itself. Later, to the statue were hung the “babuinate”, that is anonymous messages containing fierce political satire addressed to the pope, or at least to personalities of the time: it thus became part of the talking statues.

Realized to Alessandro Grandi expenses, the statue was placed next to his palace in an isolated niche . In 1738, following the demolition of Palazzo Grandi and the construction of the new Palazzo Boncompagni Cerasi, the fountain was moved to a niche similar to the previous one, characterized by two pilasters punctuated by strong bosses, at the base of the new building. On the architrave a travertine composition depicting two dolphins with tails supporting a balcony above was added.

In 1887, for reasons of practicability, the fountain was disassembled: the “babuino” statue was placed in the Palazzo Boncompagni Cerasi courtyard, while the niche became a front door. The strong and repeated protests of the Romans resulted in 1957 in the return of the “babuino” to “his” street, converted into a fountain with its original bath in the current position.


Matteo Cambi