The newly opened (just since December 2014) Museo Della Ceramica has already been called one of the most important ceramics museums in the world. Home to one thousand notable works ranging in age from the 15th century to modern times, the museum, dedicated to Ligurian ceramics, has come to light thanks to the collaborations of A. De Mari Foundation and the Municipality of Savona.
Savona is a coastal town located in Liguria, a region of northwestern Italy bordered by France to the west, Piedmont to the north, Tuscany to the east, and the Ligurian Sea to the south. This part of the world is known as the hometown of Christopher Columbus and historically considered among the most important ceramic-producing areas of the Mediterranean dating back more than six centuries—both in Savona and nearby Albisola. The museum is housed in one of the city’s most striking buildings—the Palazzo del Monte de Pieta, built by Pope Sixtus IV in 1479—that was restored and renovated to specifically act as the ceramics museum. The restoration project owes its success to Armellino & Poggio Architetti Associati, Studio di Architettura Fallucca and architect Marco Ricchebono. It was Ricchebono who adopted architectural solutions to preserve some of the building’s original interiors, such as ceiling frescoes, and added contemporary architectural elements, such as structures in steel and glass, to provide a dramatic backdrop for the museum’s displays. Roberto Romani, President of Fondazione A. De Mari, said, “We are convinced that turning the Monte di Pietà building into the Museo della Ceramica should be viewed as the natural evolution of a structure that represents a key chapter in the history of Savona and that will thus become a place of knowledge and representation of our area’s economic and cultural history.”
The exhibitions inhabit four floors, open to the public for the first time in the building’s history, where the museum’s treasures are organized by collection alongside sections of ceramics arranged by chronology and type. Tours of the museum are supplemented by multimedia instruments—Quadrisphere, a structure that offers visitors an education in the history and development of Ligurian ceramics, and an interactive multimedia showcase that shares stories and introduces visitors to the numerous secrets of ceramic production.
The architectural renovation did more than inject new life into the 15th-century structure. It also connected the new museum’s home to one of the most important buildings in town—The Palazzo Gavotti (Gavotti Palace), which is home to the city’s art museum, Pinacoteca Civica of Savona, where a tour through art history from the 14th century to today, makes it one of Italy’s most important museums. Together, the pair of museums creates a unique attraction for art lovers—Museo d’Arte di Palazzo Gavotti. The complex boasts extraordinary collections of art in a number of mediums, including the Renaissance masterpiece Donato de’ Bardi’s Crucifixion, and works by lauded artists like Picasso, Fontana, De Chirico, Magritte and Mirò. And the complex is closely connected to the churches and palazzi of Savona’s historic district, creating a unique itinerary for visitors to the area. Romani said, “We are extremely proud and satisfied that we have completed such an important project for our community and our territory.”
Congratulations to Savona and Fondazione A. De Mari on the wonderful new museum and the newly restored Palazzo del Monte de Pieta. If you travel to see the museum complex, let us know by posting photos of your favorite masterpieces and call us out, won’t you?
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