Museo delle Civiltà
Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico "Luigi Pigorini"
Urban and architectural context
The building was designed in 1938 and completed in 1943 by the architects L. Brusa, G. Cancellotti, E. Montuori and A. Scalpelli within a group led by Marcello Piacentini, the architect in charge of urban planning for the Universal Exhibition of Rome in 1942. Architecturally the facade is similar to that of the Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions.
A mosaic was added to the exterior of the building, overlooking the viale della Civiltà Romana, entitled “The professions and the arts” (Fortunato Depero, 1942) and opposite the “Corporations” piece by Enrico Prampolini at the Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions.
The building itself contained other important works.
In the hall, two works by Valerio Fraschetti are displayed: “The technical applications of science”, on the right (just primer) and “The school of Galileo” on the left. On the first floor there is a large stained-glass window overlooking the grand staircase which was built between 1941 and 1942 by Giulio Rosso, a close collaborator of Piacentini, Morpurgo and Gio Ponti. The work is composed of 54 rectangular panels depicting a complex cosmogony illustrated by planets, signs of the zodiac, astronomical instruments and representations of the Ptolemaic and Copernican views of the universe. The Great Hall of Science, on the first floor, has a splendid inlaid marble floor, created in 1943 by Mario Tozzi, bearing decorative representations of various scientific elements and themes.