National Archaeological Museum, Naples

Italia

The National Archaeological Museum in Naples, Italy is one of the largest archaeological museums in the world with over 3,000 artifacts divided into eight thematic sections spaning on four levels. The museum is extremely important for its abundance of Roman artifacts and preservation of its heritage. Most of the Roman artifacts in the museum are from Pompeii, Stabiae and Herculaneum.

The building was constructed as cavalry barracks in 1585, then later a seat of the city’s university until the late 18th century when Bourbon king Charles VII made it into a museum. The core collection of the museum is from the Farnese Collection, inherited from the King’s mother, Elisabeth FarneseThe museum holds one of the largest collections of Egyptian artifacts in Italy with 2,500 objects including sculptures, mummies, sarcophagi, papyri and ceramics. The museum even includes a Secret Room with an extensive collection of erotic and sexual items, mostly from Pompeii and Herculaneum. In 1848, the government proposed to destroy the artifacts, but the room remained restricted with limited access until April 2000 when it was made public.

The museum is a historical mashup of Greek, Roman, Renaissance and Egyptian history, booming with sculptures, mosaics, frescoes, glassware, ceramics, silverware, jewels and coins.

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