Museum of Archaeological Sciences and Art

Special mention at the 2010 ICOM Italy - Museum of the Year Award for the category “Most attractive and innovative museum in its relationship with the public”
The first university museum of antiquities and art originates from a number of works from the Mantova Benavides family collection (Padua, 16th century), which were acquired in the early 18th century by Antonio Vallisneri senior and came to the University in 1733 by donation. However, it was not until 1805 that the museum of antiquities started operating as an educational museum for historical-antiquarian disciplines and, later on, for strictly archaeological disciplines.
Over time, collections were enriched by numerous other artefacts, many of them acquired from donations or acquisitions from private collections such as Neumann, Gorga and, most recently, Merlin and Lazzarini, while other items were acquired from excavations in the area, and others are on loan from other museums/institutions.
Today, the exhibition area is divided into 4 main sections and 14 rooms. The first section, contained in a single room, is dedicated to Padua’s collection of art and antiquities: the Mantova Benavides collection (antique and Renaissance sculptures, sketches and ceramics) is on display here. This is followed by the 12 rooms of the educational archaeological section, arranged chronologically and by type of material: bronze, glass, ceramics from ancient Egypt to Roman times. In the twelfth room there is an information centre and a catalogue available for consultation. The last two sections are hosted in the last room of the museum: here we can find a plaster cast collection with classical sculpture casts and a lithological collection with modern samples of the main stone facing and decoration materials used in antiquity.
The Museum is currently located on the top floor of Palazzo Liviano: the building was designed by the architect Gio Ponti in the 1930s, under the rectorship of Carlo Anti. The recent architectural restoration and the new arrangement of the collections, completed in 2008, have restored, as far as possible, the original function of this space as one of the best examples of Italian museography from the 1930s and one of the rare university museums set up at that time.

The Museum’s activities are aimed at preserving, documenting, studying and exhibiting the collected works, while also enhancing the Museum and its collections and making them accessible to as wide a public as possible.
A great deal of attention is devoted to teaching and training activities for undergraduate and postgraduate students (specialisations, doctorates), as well as to research, as these constitute the specific activities of university museums. In carrying out its institutional activities, the Museum collaborates with organisations, degree programmes and research groups within the University, as well as with the relevant offices of MiBACT (the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism), and with local authorities, institutions, foundations and associations in the area, including schools and other museums and research centres in Italy and abroad.
For schools and non-university groups, teaching activities and visits by appointment are arranged, and they are managed by the Museum.
The Museum is part of the University Museum System coordinated by the University Museums Centre (CAM – Centro di Ateneo per i Musei). For more information, visit the Museum of Archaeological Sciences and Art at CAM.

Information and reservations
The Museum is present in Archeoveneto, the portal of Archaeology in Veneto: visit the page dedicated to the Museum of Archaeological Sciences and Art.