Few weeks ago I found this article by Roman historian Ursula Rothe in Newsweek where she describe the policy on immigration at the time of the Roman Empire as a model that could be applied nowadays to deal and reconsider the migration's issue in Europe.
Italy hosts officially 3.874.726 foreign citizens and is properly considered one of the main gate to Europe because of its geographical position. I also just recently discovered Rome accomodate 181 different foreign community ( almost the entire nationalities of the word) living in the city. Last month I decided I want to try to make one portrait for each nationality inviting them to my studio in Rome.
"My ancestors…encourage me to govern by the same policy of transferring to this city all conspicuous merit, wherever found. And indeed I know, as facts, that the Julii came from Alba, the Coruncanii from Camerium, the Porcii from Tusculum, and not to inquire too minutely into the past, that new members have been brought into the Senate from Etruria and Lucania and the whole of Italy, that Italy itself was at last extended to the Alps, to the end that not only single persons but entire countries and tribes might be united under our name.
We had unshaken peace at home; we prospered in all our foreign relations, in the days when Italy beyond the Po was admitted to share our citizenship…. Are we sorry that the Balbi came to us from Spain, and other men not less illustrious from Narbon Gaul? Their descendants are still among us, and do not yield to us in patriotism.
Everything, Senators, which we now hold to be of the highest antiquity, was once new."
Emperor Claudius 41 to 54 AD
IF YOU WANT TO HELP ME TO COMPLETE THIS PROJECT AND YOU ARE OR YOU KNOW FOREIGNERS LIVING IN ROME PLEASE WRITE TO: STUDIO@DAVIDEMONTELEONE.COM TO FIX AN APPOINTMENT TO DO THE PORTRAIT.