It is the largest collection of sculptures come to us intact.
The archaeological museum of Naples is one of the most important and oldest archaeological museums in the world, and all agree that it represents a real treasure for the classical archaeology. The artifacts collected here give the museum great richness and uniqueness.
It was founded in the 18th century by Charles III of Bourbon and first called Royal Bourbon Museum. Only after the unification of the kingdom it got its name “National Archaeological Museum”.
The exploration of the towns that were buried by the Mt. Vesuvius’ eruption in A.D. 79 was promoted by King Charles in order to collect the artifacts. Today those finds are the pride of the museum. This collection included frescoes and mosaics as well as bronze, silver and glass pieces dating back to the 1st century A.D. Particularly interesting is the section called “ Secret Cabinet ” where erotic arts of Pompei and Herculaneum are kept.
Especially worthy of mentioning is the Farnese collection. It is the largest collection of sculptures known today. During the Renaissance Alexander Farnese, who became Pope Paul III, started to collect artifacts brought to light during the excavations conducted at that time in Rome. During the 19th century the collection was moved to Naples by King Charles who inherited it from his mother Elisabeth Farnese. It is composed by more than 500 elements, such as the famous statue of Hercules, the busts of the Roman emperors, the two Tyrannicides, the majestic group called “the Farnesian bull”, the statues of Gods, sarcophaguses with mythological subjects, epigraphs, portraits of prominent men and many others artifacts. It’ s also worth seeing the magnificent Farnesian gems collection.
Equally important are other sections such as:
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