The museum was born from the legacy of the Sassari industrialist and politician Giovanni Antonio Sanna, who donated his art and antiquities collections to the city in 1875, on condition that the Town Hall set up a special museum. In 1878, the Royal Museum of Antiquities and Art was established and in 1932 the new museum building was inaugurated, built by Sanna's last daughter, Zely (1852-1932). The Museum, created as a container for objects of art, archeology and ethnography, underwent various transformations over time. New buildings were built to house the donated collections and the archaeological finds that emerged over the years thanks to the numerous excavation campaigns in the area.
Currently, the exhibition is divided according to a chronological and thematic itinerary.
The historic core of the Museum, the so-called Castoldi Pavilion, houses the historical collections (Sanna Collection, Bertolio Collection, Reksten Collection and Dessì Collection). The remaining rooms chronologically and thematically trace the history of Sardinia, from the Paleolithic to the end of the Roman Age.
The prehistoric room exhibits some of the oldest evidence of human presence in Sardinia, from the Lower Paleolithic to the Ancient Bronze Age. The chronological itinerary is accompanied by some thematic insights on the processing of hard materials, religiosity and funeral rites. A large room is dedicated to the Nuragic period: the exhibition traces the main stages of the development of this important civilization that developed on the island over the course of about a thousand years.
Among the finds, the numerous figurative bronzes stand out for their importance and beauty. In the center of the room there is a model of a nuragic tower and a sandstone seat from the village of Palmavera, Alghero (SS).
At the end of the tour there is a small section that tells about contacts and exchanges between Sardinia and the East, during Phoenician attendance and Punic domination.
Upstairs, the last room of the itinerary houses the testimonies of the Roman period. Most of the materials come from excavations carried out in the ancient colony of Turris Libisonis (Porto Torres, SS). The exhibition explores the themes related to production activities, commerce, worship and funeral rituals, as well as aspects that attest to a cultural continuity with previous phases.
The tour ends with a selection of finds from the Early Middle Ages.
The medieval room is currently closed to the public for work.
The Museum's Ethnographic Collection, the oldest and among the richest in Sardinia, includes a huge number of fabrics, woods, furniture, ceramics, jewelry, baskets, weapons, utensils and traditional clothes.
The main nucleus is the Clemente Collection, which takes its name from Gavino Clemente (1861-1947), artistic director of the homonymous furniture factory and collector of ethnographic objects.
The ethnographic section of the museum, housed in the premises of the Clemente Pavilion, is currently being rearranged.
Why it is important to visit it
Its archaeological and ethnographic finds tell stories and crossroads of civilizations, from prehistory to the twentieth century.
Structure category: museum, gallery and/or collection
Macro Territorial Area: Northern Sardinia
POSTAL CODE: 07100
Address: via Roma, 64
Telephone: +39 079 272203
January - December
Tuesday - Wednesday - Thursday - Friday - Saturday
9:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Access mode: For a fee
Services information: The museum and garden are accessible to people with mobility disabilities. During the visit, there are explanatory panels written in “Easy to read” or “easy to read language”, created in collaboration with ANFASS Onlus Sardegna. The Museum offers a heritage education program for schools and groups. Visits and activities are organized periodically with the aim of bringing young people closer to the Museum's historical heritage. Guided tours and workshops for schools are agreed with teachers on the basis of different teaching and training needs.
Facilitated physical accessibility for visitors with specific needs
Where is it
Author : Peresson, Giovanni
Author : Peresson, Giovanni
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