Reggio Calabria Wireless
Museums and galleries
How to arrive
FRI 22
N.d.
THU 21
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WED 20
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Heritage and Culture
The National Museum of Magna Grecia

The National MuseumOpened to the public in 1954, the Piacentini Building protects the countless testimonies of the great civilizations that the underground continues to return in a rich way. Prehistory and Protohistory, numismatics, a lapidary, a picture gallery and the most recent subaqua archaeological section: each room is an open window to the past, each object a small jewel recovered from the memories. Also the Museum’s library with over 10.000 volumes, the photographic laboratory and the restoration laboratory are a valuable storage of works from the past.

The prehistoric and protohistoric section gather information to assure that in the Inferior Palaeolithic era, Calabria was inhabited by mankind.  Among the most interesting testimonies from the Palaeolithic era there is a graffito showing an ox discovered inside the Romito di Papasidero cave. Besides the Bronze Age axes, that are worthwhile seeing, there are funerary equipments recovered from the tombs discovered in Calanna. Most of the remains kept in the Museum come from the archaeological site of Locri that spreads for 235 hectares. The ancient Locri Epizephiri was probably founded by the colonies coming from the central Greece, around the end of the VIII century b.C. From this first settlement the following colonies spread, Medma and Hipponion, today Rosarno and Vibo Valentia. The excavations, conducted by Paolo Orsi after World War II, allowed the valuable discovery of many Sanctuaries. Among the most important, the Sanctuary dedicated to the Goddess Persephone alla Manella, where the presence of many Pinakes was also found, terracotta ex voto (votive offerings) tablets, decorated with engravings finely elaborated.
The reconstruction of a part of the Temple of Casa Marafioti is also very interesting as the Thirty- nine Tablets that show the juridical order of the city of Locri. Also worthwhile visiting the room dedicated to the Sanctuary of Marasà: it keeps the terracottas that used to recover the wood structure of the ancient temple. In the same section there are the remains of the Sanctuary of Grotta Caruso and Centocamere. This last one was the artisans’ quarter from which the ceramics and feminine utensils come, which were made at the storerooms, while the theatre zone gave back little statues representing actors and artists from the V century b.C. There’s a big amount of jewels and feminine accessories: particularly beautiful the bronze mirrors that were made in Locri.Finally, among the most suggestive remains, the imposing Group of the Dioscuri, anciently situated over the fronton of the Ionic Temple of Locri.

The Colonies
There are many sections dedicated to the greek colonies of Reghion, Matauros, Krimissa, Medma, Kaulonia and Laos.
In the first room dedicated to the remains coming from the town of Reggio Calabria, the most striking is the terracotta “Griso-Labocetta” featuring two feminine figures of the VI century b.C. Several and valuable are the remains discovered in many sanctuaries and necropolis of the city: little statues, vases, funerary equipment, mirrors…  In the Mètauros section, the most impressive object, because of its particular beauty, is a vase decorated with birds and also amphorae and other vases finely ornamented. From Medma, a lady’s head comes, wearing loose hair and flashy greek fashion earrings.
Discovered in a tomb from the ancient Laos, a complete armour and an important gold diadem was found. From the Temple of Apollo Aleo, in the city of Krimisa, a well preserved head comes, belonging to the god (Apollo) and also little ex voto (votive offerings).  The National Museum of Reggio Calabria reserves a lot of surprises: the Numismatic Section keeps roman and greek coin collections of great value, meanwhile the courtyard of the same museum shows pillars and bases of statues with very interesting inscriptions. A special section, the Lapidary Gallery, gathers this kind of remains, especially some ancient epigraphs. It also deserves to visit the Picture Gallery, expecially the two pictures by Antonello da Messina featuring “St. Jerome repentant” and “The three Angels”, and “The prodigal son’s return” by Mattia Preti.

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