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History of the Museum

"one of the most prestigious museums dedicated to the civilization of the Etruscans"
From the guide pp. 49

After the papal pomp of the sixteenth century, the Villa experienced a long period of decline until 1889 when, at the instigation of Felice Barnabei, an Italian archaeologist and politician, it was finally transformed into a museum, recovering one of the most fascinating places of the Italian Renaissance and providing the newborn nation with a museum entirely dedicated to the most remote origins of Italian identity, with an exhibition focused on the pre-Roman antiquities of peoples such as the Etruscans and the Italics (in particular Falisci, Umbrians, Latins and Sabines).

Villa Giulia, enriched with a second seat, Villa Poniatowski, has become the most important Etruscan museum in the world, having in its collections some of the most famous masterpieces for a total of over 6000 objects distributed in 50 rooms, with an exhibition area of over 3000 square meters.

Due to its extraordinary history and cultural importance, in 2016, the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia was included among the 32 institutions of "significant national interest" with scientific and administrative autonomy, starting a new page of its centuries-old history.


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