The National Museum of Palazzo Venezia is housed in the historic building built in 1455 by the Venetian cardinal Pietro Barbo, who was elected pope a few years later with the name of Paul II. The collections of the Museum of Palazzo Venezia were formed starting from a first nucleus of sculptures and works from Castel Sant'Angelo, the National Gallery of Ancient Art and the collections of the nearby Roman College Museum founded in the seventeenth century by the Jesuit Athanasius Kircher . The artistic material of the original collection was composed mainly of works from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Around 1920 to the original collections were added various objects confiscated from religious orders and stolen from buildings destroyed and heavily damaged in Abruzzo by the Marsica earthquake of 1915. In 1929 the building was chosen by Benito Mussolini as the seat of the Head of Government, the museum was practically closed and can only be visited with the authorization of the Public Security bodies. After the interlude of the war, the Museum of Palazzo Venezia gradually defined its physiognomy as a great Museum of Applied Arts. There are preserved: collections of paintings on wood and canvas of the XV-XVIII centuries, eighteenth-century pastels as well as miniatures and fans; a rich series of Italian and German wooden sculptures; a valuable collection of sketches and terracotta reliefs from the 1500s and 1600s; early medieval and renaissance marble; sealing matrices, enamels, sacred goldsmiths and silvers of profane use, glass, ivory and Renaissance bronzes of the Italian school; a vast collection of ceramics that includes specimens of archaic Orvieto majolica, Italian Renaissance majolica, porcelain from national and foreign manufactures (including a vast repertoire of oriental porcelain for export); there is also a section of fabrics that includes, in addition to a significant series of tapestries, carpets, Coptic fabrics, modern fabrics for sacred and profane use, laces, headgear and hairstyles of various manufactures and styles; there is also a vast repertoire of chests and furniture in general, of wrought iron, of various doors and windows as well as a remarkable collection of ancient weapons and armor.