Dear Director Eric de Chassey, Dear President of the Total Foundation, Dear Thierry Desmarest, Dear President of the Heritage Foundation, Dear Charles de Croisset, Dear friends,

On the hill of Pincio, a cardinal from one of the most illustrious families of
the peninsula built a small pavilion overlooking the Roman countryside,
in one of the watchtowers of the wall of Aurélien. There
a pleasant retreat where one could undoubtedly play Vertumne and
Pomone, a very convenient exit too, to leave the grounds of the Villa
The cardinal leaves for Florence ten years later. The
later. The princes leave, the masterpieces remain.

In Rome, the grey and uniform coatings of the walls often hide
wonders. Who would not have liked to be in the place of those who, in 1985,
have updated this masterpiece of the Stanza degli uccelli, which was then
restored under the direction of Géraldine Albers?

A pergola, birds, some mischievous rodents perched on
branches: it is a visual encyclopedia of fauna and flora
left us by a student of Vasari, Jacopo Zucchi, at the end of the
16th century, in line with the ancient legacy that can be admired
today at the Palazzo Massimo with the triclinium of Livia, at the time
even where Roman artists like Taddeo Zuccari and Giovanni De
Vecchi decorate the summer residence of the Farnese in Caprarola. André
Chastel, our master in Italian Renaissance of which we will commemorate
the centenary next year, will have shown us in his works,
in her classes at the Collège de France, the aesthetic advocates of this
cultural conquest strategy led a family anxious to make
to continue its political hold on Rome, highlighting it for all
visitors, the Florentine know-how. In contrast with the Stanza
dell'Aurora and its historical grotesques, its fables of Esope and its
on the Villa and its surroundings, the Bird Room offers the visitor,
with this pergola painted according to the humanist tradition, a magnificent
treated ornithology on the walls for the rare birds of the

One of the beauties of heritage and restoration trades is
also the crossing of time scales. The long time of the work
art; the time, sometimes much shorter, of its degradation by
humidity; and that of the techniques of treatment, cleaning. In 25 years,
they have come a long way. So it has become possible,
from now on, to be able to treat rooms like this in their
together, the facades, the window, the lower part of the walls, the painting on
which gives it its full scope, with its red fruits and
autumn foliage. This is what has been undertaken with remarkable talent
Luigi de Cesaris and his team, whom we owe to have found
the rendering of plant colours and the smallest details of the scenes of the

A magnificent restoration work that is based on choices very
supported by precise scientific documentation:
to discreetly integrate the deficiencies of the decor in order to restore a vision
of the painted work; that of retrieving the
Wall hanging, with pink and green weft, on base
of a cloth decoration brought back from Persia by the Medici in the century,
made later by the Florentine masters.

I thank the Total Foundation, in the person of Catherine Ferrant,
its president Thierry Desmarest, and the Fondation du Patrimoine, dear
Edouard de Royère, dear Frédéric Néraud, and its president Charles de
Croisset, for their support that made possible this restoration, as well
that the teams of your two Foundations, especially Sylvain
Gauduchon and Katherine El Okbi who will have closely followed the project
of Karim Maatoug, the very talented sponsor of the
Villa. I also thank the managing director of Total E&P Italia,
Thierry Normand, who financed the film on restoration as well
that his team, also loyal patrons, for several years,
the musical activities of the Villa.

I would also like to thank Amundi asset management, sponsor
principal of the Academy, Olivier and Edwige Michon, Zilli, Veolia, and
all the patrons of the Villa, for their loyalty and
support that allow the Académie de France to carry out
its activities. Your presence, your friendship are essential to us.