MUSEUMS VATICAN CITY
Gregorian Egyptian Museum
Pope Gregory XVI had the Gregorian Egyptian Museum founded in 1839. It houses monuments and artefacts of ancient Egypt partly coming from Rome and from Villa Adriana (Tivoli), where they had been transferred mostly in the Imperial age, and partly from private collections, that is purchased by nineteenth century collectors. The Popes’ interest in Egypt was connected with the fundamental role attributed to this country by the Sacred Scripture in the History of Salvation.
Philatelic and Numismatic Museum
The Philatelic and Numismatic Museum of the Governorate of the Vatican City State showcases the entire Vatican City philatelic and numismatic production from 1929 to date, including a wide selection of postmarks, sketches, typographic plates, plasters, bronze casts and other items illustrating the different stages in the productions of stamps and coins. There is also a collection of philatelic material and postal history (1852-1870) relating to the Papal State. The paintings on display in the Museum are all original artists’sketches used to create stamps, postcards and aerograms.
The Vatican Museums are the public art and sculpture museums in the Vatican City, which display works from the extensive collection of the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Julius II founded the museums in the 16th century. The Sistine Chapel and the Stanze della Segnatura decorated by Raphael are on the visitor route through the Vatican Museums. As of November 2006, it was visited by more than 4,000,000 people for the year.
Museum of THE PATRIARCHAL BASILICA OF SAINT MARY MAJOR
The Museum was inaugurated and blessed by John Paul II last December 8, 2001, for the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The most important and precious objects belonging to the Basilica were exhibited in the Museum.
Going back to the Simonetti Staircase, the visitor may either visit the Etruscan Museum, housed in the Palace of Innocent VIII (1484-1492) or move on to Raphael’s Rooms and the Sistine Chapel. Founded in 1837 by Pope Gregory XVI, the museum contains vases, bronzes and other archaeological findings from southern Etruria, a large collection of Hellenistic Italian vases and some Roman pieces (Antiquarium Romanorum). In Room II is the notable Regolini-Galassi tomb and Rooms IV-VIII, known as of the “Precious”, exhibit gold jewellery realized by Etruscan goldsmiths during the ten centuries of their civilization.