Naples National Archaeological Museum

Posted on 25 Giugno 2009 by admin

Near to piazza Dante is the National Archaeological Museum, the most important museum of classical archaeology in the world. Charles of Bourbon put the largest art collection in Italy, the Farnese collection inherited by his mother Elisabeth, into this building (the old “Study Palace” or university).
Over the years the largest archaeological collection of all time, relics from the city and from the villas buried under the ashes of Vesuvius in 79 BC, was brought here.

The most important collection of the museum is that of the mosaics, paintings, jewellery and objects recovered from the buried vesuvian homes. A collection unmatched peer in the world that attracts, needless to say, millions of visitors.
Another highlight is the classical sculpture collection, some roman copies of Greek originals, amongst which the celebrated Farnese sculptures (the Bull, the Hercules and dozens of others). The cameo and cut gem collection, which includes the extraordinary Farnese Cup, is also very rich. The vast epigraph collection includes over 2,000 pieces representing all of the languages once spoken in Campania (from Greek to Oscan, Etruscan to Latin). The Egyptian collection is only second in importance in Italy to that of Turin. There is a section dedicated to the Papyrus Villa, the famous roman house in Herculaneum that brought to light so many relics, amongst which the celebrated statues in bronze and marble.
The Secret Cabinet is a part of the museum that houses a 19th century collection of Greek and Roman objects considered “obscene” at the times, reserved only for authorized visitors. It includes now sculptures, frescoes, mosaics, amulets, oil-lamps and graffiti with erotic themes from the digs at Pompeii.

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