Museo delle Civiltà
Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico "Luigi Pigorini"
The historical roots of a prestigious cultural institution
The Superintendence of the "Luigi Pigorini" National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography in Rome has, from its foundation, served as a center both for excellence in research and for the promotion of the Nation’s ethno-anthropological and palethnological collections. The origins of this institution, in terms of scientific activity and conservation, can be traced back the foundation, within the buildings of the Roman College, of the "Royal National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography in Rome" in 1875.
According to the intentions of its founder, Luigi Pigorini, the purpose of this new institution was not only to gather together the remains of Italian prehistoric culture and the "primitive" cultures of other European and non-European peoples in a "central" museum, located in the new capital of the Kingdom, but above all to support, promote and participate in research by palethnologists in Italy.
Since its foundation, the "Royal Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography of Rome" has carried out the vital function of promoting and coordinating excavations of Italian prehistoric sites and has made significant contributions.
To the development of teaching activities and to the teaching of this subject higher education, at the Museum, were established the courses of the first university chair of Palaeontology in Italy: this is a constant and extraordinary work of popular science with the creation, in the same year of founding of the museum, one of the first European magazines devoted to prehistoric disciplines, the Bulletin of Italian Palethnology.