On April 30th, 2016, the National Archaeological Museum of Reggio Calabria – also known as National Museum of Magna Græcia – reopened to the public. It is an important institution for the conservation of finds from the ancient Greek colonies in Southern Italy.
The Museum’s collection includes the world-famous “Riace Bronzes” (two statues dating back to the 5th century BC, made in Greece or Magna Greece and found in 1972, two hundred meters off the coast of Riace Marina), as well as many other precious artworks from the “Megále Hellàs” period, which started in the 8th century when craftsmen, merchants and farmers from an overpopulated and socially tense Greece started to reach the shores of what we now know as Calabria, Apulia, Basilicata and Campania, founding their colonies.
Thus, the palace designed by Marcello Piacentini between 1932 and 1941, recently renovated and extended by Paolo Desideri, is home to numerous wonders, such as terracotta “pinakes” (literally, “small pictures”) from Locri and Reggio (5th century BC), the “Dioscuri Group” (marble sculptures from the 5th-4th centuries BC), the “Kouros di Reggio” (a small, Paros marble statue of a naked young man, dating back to the 6th century BC), and the “Ponticello Bronzes” (the “Head of Basel” and the “Head of the Philosopher”, from the 5th century BC).
Don’t miss your chance to stop in this wonderful museum if you ever are in Reggio Calabria, or as the ancient Greeks would say, Rhegion (the oldest Magna Grecia colony after Cumae).
Photos via: ©Ferruccio Cornicello-www.famedisud.it