Museum of the Biella Territory

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Museum of the Biella Territory

The Museum of the Biellese Territory was inaugurated in the current site of the former Convent of San Sebastiano, in 2001. The Museum houses the civic collections which, starting from the second half of the 19th century, have been enriched up to the present day, through on the territory, donations, bequests and deposits. The heterogeneous museum heritage has made it possible to organize the visit itinerary through the Paleontological, Archaeological, Egyptian, Pre-Columbian and Historical-artistic sections. The Paleontological section illustrates how up to 2 and a half million years ago the sea occupied vast areas of the Biella area, acting as a junction with the "Moving on the water" section, whose undisputed protagonist is the monossile pirogue from the Roman age, found in the small lake of Bertignano .
In the large hall that houses the archaeological collections, a chronological itinerary, divided into several rooms, develops over time from Prehistory to the Middle Ages: from the protohistoric finds from Viverone and Burcina, to the history of the exploitation of the Bessa aurifodine by the Celts first and then of the Romans, up to the Roman necropolises of Biella and Cerrione, with its lepontium tombstones, to reach the Medieval section where the discoveries on Mount Rubello that tell of Fra' Dolcino are reported.
Completing the archaeological heritage are two important sections, the result of donations from illustrious Biella residents: the Egyptian room, closely linked to two famous Biella citizens, Corradino Sella and Ernesto Schiaparelli, which preserves and enhances, among others, the mummy of Taaset and its magnificent wooden sarcophagus, and the room of Pre-Columbian Cultures, the result of the donation of the Biella entrepreneur Ugo Canepa. The finds belong to the cultures that flourished in Mesoamerica, in the Inetrmedia area (Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua) and in the Andean territories before the arrival of the Conquistadores and allow us to know the knowledge and life habits of ethnic-cultural groups settled in the territories that currently they range from Mexico to Peru, from the 1st millennium BC to the Hispanic conquest. The visit itinerary continues with the historical-artistic collections. In the large hall on the first floor, starting from the pictorial testimonies of the 12th century, it is possible to follow the evolution of the local figurative culture and taste for collecting with 16th-century works from the most illustrious Vercelli workshops and paintings by Caravaggio or the 18th-century Venetian school.
The 19th and 20th century collections, the result of private donations, make it possible to present Piedmontese landscape painting with notable paintings by Antonio Fontanesi, Marco Calderini, Giovanni Giani and Giovanni Piumati and to place the production of Lorenzo Delleani in a broader artistic cultural context, native of Pollone and among the greatest exponents of landscape painting of his time.
The Museum preserves the pointillist masterpiece "Reflections of a hungry" by Emilio Longoni, which opens the path dedicated to Biella collecting from which come works by Carlo Carrà, Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo up to the major exponents of the historical avant-gardes of the first half of the twentieth century, such as Renè Magritte, Paul Klee, Max Ernst, Marc Chagall, Joan Mirò and compatriots Giacomo Balla and Lucio Fontana.


Works on display

Timetable and tickets


Via Q. Sella, 54/b
13900 Biella


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