Sant'Agostino: a Treasure in the Heart of the City

The Museum of Sant'Agostino is entering a new phase, the third, of its life. Inaugurated in 1939 as the Museum of Ligurian Architecture and Sculpture, heavily damaged by the war, and reopened in 1984 in the spaces designed by Franco Albini and Franca Helg, the museum now requires significant works.

These interventions – whose project is presented in the ticket office spaces – include the complete replacement of the large windows, structural and plant adaptation, the creation of new spaces for reception, and a renewed museum arrangement. In this accessible and updated museum, the thousands of works dating from Antiquity to the 19th century, which constitute the heritage of Sant'Agostino and, in a sense, the monumental archive of the city, will be enhanced to the fullest. The planned works will continue in the coming months and will mainly affect the area of the quadrangular cloister; however, on the occasion of the Year of Medieval Genoa, the Sant'Agostino complex reopens and offers, in the spaces of the triangular cloister and the church, a selection of the most significant medieval pieces from the museum. In the largest preserved Gothic church in the city, a panorama of the multifaceted reality of medieval Genoa will be offered, when a peripheral center of Northern Italy became one of the greatest powers in the Mediterranean

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Although the museum contains a wide variety of objects - sculpture, painting and applied arts artifacts – it was created and designed to house works of sculpture. Natural light, in Franco Albini's brilliant design, brings out of the carved stone ever changing and surprising aspects, not only with the change of the seasons, but even the time of the day. The Museums greatest treasure is a sculpture: what remains of the sepulchral monument of the great fourteenth-century master Giovanni Pisano that the emperor Henry VII commissioned in memory of his young wife Margaret of Brabant who died and was buried in Genoa.

Over the course of its history, more than three decades, the museum's collection has been transformed, enriching itself with other evocative artefacts from churches and monasteries that, sadly, no longer exist, as is the case with the frescoes or altarpieces. However, there is also a painting section with paintings on wood from the Middle Ages to the early Renaissance. Among the works of applied art, the admirable Assunta in ivory, various ceramics, and the precious Pallium of San Lorenzo, a unique piece also due to its dimensions (almost three metres), both its origins and history are known.