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MUNDA - Museo nazionale d'Abruzzo

L'Aquila

The museum

MUNDA – Museo nazionale d’Abruzzo

The museum that lived twice

The catastrophic earthquake of 6th April, 2009 caused the closing of the National Museum of Abruzzo which had been the main museum of the region due to the historical relevance of its   location dating back to the 16th century,  the  imposing “Castello Spagnolo”, a wonderful example of military architecture of that age. Thanks to  its wide expositive surface and to  the high quality of the collections, which testify  to the history of the region from the early Quaternary Era until  the 20th century , it was visited  every year by a great number of tourists, pupils and art lovers. The historic location, seriously damaged by the earthquake is  still under  complex restoration works.The new life of the museum started on 19th December 2015 when it reopened in a new location that is the former municipal slaughter house of L’Aquila in Borgo Rivera, in front of the famous “Fountain of the 99 spouts”.

History 

The National Museum of Abruzzo was opened on 23rd September 1951 in the 16th  century Castle of L’Aquila, after restoration from the Nazi occupation. Both the collections from the Soprintendenza and the ones from the Civic museum of L’Aquila of the late 19th century, later  dismantled in 1942 due to the war, were brought to the Castle.  In  1958 the huge skeleton  of a Mammuthus Meridionalis, found a few years before near L’Aquila,  was exposed in the eastern bastion of the castle.  In 1966, all the works of art from the Museum of  the Sacred Art of the L’Aquila Diocese, opened in  1935,  were “temporarily stored” for an indefinite period  in the Castle.  L’Aquila curia had already taken care of the artistic treasures of the town during the tragic months of the Second World War, moving them to the Vatican vaults as a preventive measure, away from bombings and depredations.The objects belonging to the museum  were dramatically taken away from their  historical site following the earthquake of 6th  April 2009  are  today hosted in the former slaughter house of L’Aquila, built between 1881 and 1883 and closed in 1990. In the new temporary location, after restoration and repairs carried out between 2010 and 2015, a selection of 60 archeological finds and 112 paintings , sculptures and jewellery from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age, made safe by advanced anti-seismic protections,  have been exposed. These masterpieces testify to  the history and the vitality  of this region and to its culture, some of them were found under the ruins of the earthquake, brought back to new life thanks to  complex restoration works.

The treasures of MuNDA

Room A: dedicated to archeology with the remains from Amiternum, Aveia and Peltuinum important Italic and Roman cities of L’Aquila area: among them the Calendario Amiternino (about 20 AD) and the stone carvings  representing a gladiators battle (1st  century BC) and a funeral ceremony (1st  century AD).Room B: Abruzzo Medieval art is characterized first of all by a very precious collection of Madonne whose richness and  artistic quality has few comparisons in the national and international field: some rare and precious icons of the 13th century (Madonna  De Ambro, Madonna di Sivignano, Madonna di Montereale, Madonna del latte by Gentile da Roccamorice, the only one signed and dated 1283) and many wooden sculptures; majestic and sacred the ones of Romanesque- byzantine culture dating back to the 1100-1200 (Madonna di Lettopalena, Madonna delle Cocanelle); slender and graceful the ones dating back to the 14th  century showing  in their sweet faces and refined lines, all the spirituality and the grace of the new Gothic Art (Madonna di Fossa, Madonna di San Silvestro).

Room C (15th  Century): The 15th  century begins with dazzling paintings on pure gold background: among them the Trittico di Beffi (1410 - 1415), by the painter Leonardo di Sabino from Teramo. Proofs of  the early Abruzzo  Renaissance are the paintings by Andrea Delitio, and the wooden sculptures by Giovanni di Biasuccio and Silvestro dell’Aquila (San Sebastiano, 1478). Among the paintings of Franciscan theme and commission we find the polyptych representing San Giovanni da Capestrano and stories of his life  by an unknown deeply cultured  painter  who also the painting representing San Francesco riceve le stimmate ( St. Francis receiving the stigmata) is attributed to. Room E: in the 16th century the original personality  of Saturnino Gatti stands out: he has been  recently recognized as a leading artist of the Italian Renaissance. The museum exhibits two of his paintings  (Madonna degli Angeli, 1505; Madonna del Rosario, 1511) and terracotta sculptures (Presepe di Tione and Sant’Antonio Abate, 1515) rescued from the earthquake and wonderfully restored.Room F:  the last room  houses paintings by important Neapolitan 17th century artists,  Mattia Preti , Bernardo Cavallino,  Jusepe de Ribera, Andrea Vaccaro, Massimo Stanzione.

Address

via Tancredi da Pentima, snc
67100 L'Aquila

Timetables

Martedì-Domenica 8.30-19.30

Information

www.musei.abruzzo.beniculturali.it/musei?mid=63&nome=munda-museo-nazionale-dabruzzo
munda@beniculturali.it
Ph: +39 0862 28420
Closure: Lunedì
Full: 4,00 €
Reduced: 2,00 €