Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Since 1471, the oldest museum in the world open to the public
It was an idea of Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere (1471/84) who donated to the people four bronze statues and displayed them publicly. So the modern concept of "museum" was born
The museum expanded with Leo X Medici (1513/21) and Pius V Ghislieri (1566/72)
Clement XII Corsini (1730/40) in 1734 inaugurated the Palazzo Nuovo (New Palace) built specifically as a museum, another new thing: it was the first time a building was built to house works of art visible to everyone, not just to the private owners of the building and their guests
It was expanded again with Benedict XIV Lambertini (1740/58) and between 1748 and 1750 the Pinacoteca Capitolina (Art Gallery) was opened, the oldest public collection of paintings in the world. The British Museum in London was opened in 1753 and the Louvre in Paris only in 1793
There were other additions after 1870 when Rome became the capital of Italy
In 2005 the last renovation called "Grande Campidoglio" (Great Capitol Hill) was completed. It lasted nearly a decade and was designed by the Dardi and Einaudi Studios, and, for the Roman Garden, by Carlo Aymonino (1926/2010)
A very articulated museum was therefore created, with the acquisition of new exhibition spaces, the reorganization of some areas and the reopening of closed sections with new exhibitions
The museum was also enlarged with the public opening of the Tabularium, connected to the other buildings through the Gallery Junction, the restoration of Palazzo Caffarelli and the acquisition of Palazzo Clementino, formerly used for offices
With the latest additions the museum cover an area of about 10,000 m² (108,000 square feet)
In 2008 it was visited by 452,232 people, still too few for one of the most beautiful and exciting museums in the whole world

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