Did you know? The statue of a famous Roman she-wolf is hidden in a Parisian square.

Published by Graziella de Sortiraparis · Photos by Graziella de Sortiraparis · Published on February 10th, 2024 at 06:35 p.m.
In front of the Sorbonne lies a sculpture with a strong symbolic link between Paris and Rome: a she-wolf. A replica of the Capitoline She-Wolf, it was donated to the French capital as part of the twinning agreement between the two cities, a reminder of the legend of Remus and Romulus.

"Only Paris is worthy of Rome, only Rome is worthy of Paris". A slogan born of the exclusive twinning between Rome, the Italian capital, and Paris, the only one of its kind in the world, since 1956. To celebrate this event, a bronze replica of the Capitoline She-Wolf, created in 1962, was donated to the city of Paris, and is now hiding in a Parisian square, right next to the Musée de Cluny. It stands at the entrance to Square Samuel Paty, opposite the Sorbonne. If you've never seen it before, pay it a visit next time you're in the neighborhood!

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On display in Rome's Capitoline Museums since 1471, the original symbolizes the myth of Rome's foundation, with the brothers Remus and Romulus being suckled by the she-wolf. This highly symbolic gift expresses the fraternal ties between the two cities, as did the two founders of Rome, two twins thrown into the Tiber by the king, who feared the claims of these newborns, legitimate heirs to the crown.

Placed in a basket by servants, they escaped drowning and ended up at the foot of Mount Palatine, where they were taken in by a she-wolf, who adopted, fed and protected them. We can only hope that the story between the two cities doesn't end like that of the brothers, as Romulus ends up killing Remus over a dispute about the name of their future city, which he eventually christens Rome.

To honor this twinning, on your trip to Rome you'll find a column topped by a bronze sailboat, a symbol found on the coat of arms of the city of Paris, next to the Roman National Museum on Via Parigi.

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