Estense Lapidary Museum
The Lapidary Museum is the first public museum in the city: inaugurated in 1828 in the portico of the Palazzo dei Musei at the behest of Duke Francesco IV of Austria-Este , the museum was inspired by the illustrious examples of the Maffeiano Lapidary Museum in Verona. of the Lapidary Gallery of the Chiaramonti Museum in the Vatican and established a close bond with the city community. The collection, made up of epigraphs and stone artefacts bearing inscriptions, was built on the basis of some pieces already preserved in the Palazzo Ducale, purchases and finds from local excavations. In addition, the wealthiest citizens pledged to donate materials they owned and to finance the museum. Thanks to the 329 finds, it is possible to know the local history of the Roman settlement of Mutina, up to the ducal period, with monumental public inscriptions or sepulchral arks that until the seventeenth century were placed in the churchyard of the Cathedral. The first director of the museum, Carlo Malmusi identified a triple purpose: "to serve archeology", "for the memory of illustrious ancestors" and "to study the progress of local sculpture": the foundations are laid for the educational model of civic museums of the Emilian centers.