Puglia: inaugurated the National Archaeological Museum of Mattinata. Over 2500 finds “of exceptional artistic, historical and archaeological interest”

Not a point of arrival, but a new beginning. The Museum of Mattinata is reborn as the “Matteo Sansone” National Archaeological Museum set up in the rooms of the former Civic Museum, in via Torquato Tasso, granted by the Municipality to the Regional Directorate of Museums of Puglia. Over 2500 finds “of exceptional artistic, historical and archaeological interest” that refer to the ancient culture of the Dauni in a chronological path that goes from the protohistoric age to the Roman one. The set-up, created by the Regional Directorate of Museums of Puglia in collaboration with the Superintendency of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the provinces of Barletta-Andria-Trani and Foggia, includes six sections and an open deposit that recalls the well-known pharmacy that has long housed the collection. The restitution to the public of the inheritance that the pharmacist “Matteo Sansone ” left to the State begins today with the cutting of the ribbon, less than a year after the donation of the collection and the delivery of the building.

The collection, formed at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, is considered one of the most important private collections in Puglia: in 1990 it was declared by the Archaeological Superintendence “of exceptional artistic, historical and archaeological interest” (DM 27 July 1990) for the value of the archaeological material mainly of territorial origin, but above all for the peculiar antiquarian character that characterizes it. The display is made up of evidence of Daunian steles, coins, metal objects such as weapons and ornaments, and ceramic finds, including figurative vases mostly from the province of Foggia, in particular from the Gargano and the Piana del Tavoliere area. Thanks to the generosity of the family who strongly wanted the collection to remain in Mattinata,

From here began an active collaboration with the Municipality of Mattinata to identify the space to be used as a future museum, which ended with the granting on free loan to the Ministry of Culture of the structure already destined to be the Civic Museum. The Regional Directorate of Puglia Museums, in agreement with the General Directorate of Museums and in collaboration with the Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the provinces of Barletta-Andria-Trani and Foggia, oversaw the refurbishment works of the historic Civic Museum, reorganizing and redeveloping the spaces of the visit itinerary also in an accessible key.

«Museums constitute the cultural identity of our country and reveal its history and the testimonies of past civilizations. But they must also be places of cultural vitality through the dialogue between past and present» , comments the Undersecretary for Culture, Vittorio Sgarbi . «Today a new Museum is born which will enrich the National Museum System, a guarantee of continuous improvement – comments the Director General of Museums, Prof. Massimo Osanna – It will fit effectively into this fundamental widespread network, capable of strengthening collaboration between the State, Regions and local bodies. We are inaugurating a new center of culture, which tells us about unpublished chapters of the ancient culture of the Dauni and which represents a turning point for the territory and its community, with a view to opening up to new audiences».

«What is being inaugurated today is a far-reaching project, an example of good practices consistent with the interconnection between several subjects – comments the general coordinator of the project, Luca Mercuriwho in 2022 started and then oversaw, as Regional Director of Puglia Museums, this broad initiative, which was completed in less than a year – we are talking about the virtuous relationship with the private sector, an effective collaboration between the Regional Museums Directorate and the Superintendency, in an effective meeting between protection and enhancement, a close relationship between the local authority, the city of Mattinata, which has generously made the container available in an area that has a very high attractive potential in itself » .

« Today we are reaping the fruits of great teamwork – explains Anita Guarnieri , Superintendent of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the provinces of Barletta, Andria, Trani and Foggia – We are in a young municipality which, in recent years, thanks to a virtuous synergy with the Superintendence, has invested significant energy and financial resources in cultural protection and enhancement, both in terms of archeology and landscape. Today a new page opens in the history of the Gargano, a territory that deserves to be increasingly known and valued». « The Museum of Mattinata is reborn – comments Francesco Longobardi , delegated by the Director General of Museums, Prof.Massimo Osanna , to the Regional Directorate of Puglia Museums – A museum that stands as the hub of the community and in which tradition and innovation have been the two reference poles for the construction of the exhibition itinerary. We are very gratified by this achievement and I thank Prof. Osanna for this».
“The inauguration of the National Archaeological Museum of Mattinata is a moment of historical significance for our Community – reflects the mayor of Mattinata, Michele BiscegliaThe dedication to our apothecary/archaeologist Matteo Sansone is also a source of great pride and satisfaction for us in the morning and for the Sansone family. Mattinata has been waiting for a long time for such a museum garrison to finally find an outcome not only for the enormous cultural dimension it represents but also and above all for the high identity value for the history of our Community. This is a cultural operation – he continues – fundamental forincrease and enrich the knowledge and awareness of our Places and our Territory in each of us and in each visitor who will have the pleasure of discovering how much beauty our ancestors were able to create hundreds of years ago. A notable enrichment also from the point of view of the local tourist destination which sees its offer bouquet exponentially enriched.

Probably just what was still missing in Mattinata to complete the already very rich territorial offer between the boundless deposit of natural beauties as well as the vivid experience of typical and authentic traditions. A virtuous path that has seen the Administration that I have the honor of representing collaborate with the General and Regional Directorate of Museums and with the Archaeological Superintendence of Fine Arts and Landscape for the provinces BAT and Foggia. We are honored – he concludes – to receive the visit of the Undersecretary of State for Culture, Professor Vittorio Sgarbi to whom I extend the most cordial welcome on my part and on behalf of the entire Mattinatese community». « Today is a memorable date for my family – comments the donor’s homonymous nephew,Matteo Sansonemy grandfather’s will has become public heritage, an added value of the city of Mattinata, of its population and of those who will visit this treasure trove of beauty». After today’s inaugural ceremony, the Museum will be open to the public from tomorrow 20 July with the times shown below. Information for the public :
Summer opening hours (until 30 September): the Museum will be open from Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 – 13:00, 17:00-21:00
Winter hours (from 1st October): from Tuesday to Friday: 9-00-14.00; Saturday and Sunday 10:00-13:00, 16.00-19.00 Cost of the ticket: 5 euro, including the euro intended to finance and start operations for the protection and reconstruction of the public and private cultural heritage damaged during the bad weather emergency that affected Emilia Romagna (In compliance with Legislative Decree n.61 of 1 June 2023 “Urgent interventions to deal with the emergency caused by floods that occurred starting from from May 1, 2023”).
Provided free of charge by law. Reduced ticket: 2 Euros. Starting from August, integrated territorial tickets will be developed with other museums. It is possible to purchase the ticket on site, with POS and/or cash, through the cash desk at the Museum entrance.

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