The history

The starting point for the history of the Museum is due to the activity of two very different persons: canon Giandomenico Bertoli (1676-1763) and Lepoldo Zuccolo (1761-1833), a painter from Udine. Bertoli collected finds that are still the core of the exhibition; his aim of popularization - according to his time's spirit - is reflected in his work "Le antichità di Aquileia", puglished in Venice in 1739. The seat of his exhibition was his own house, in via Patriarch Popo, and included a remarkable epigraphic collection; after his death and a series of vicissitudes it was bought by Count Antonio Cassis Faraone, who placed it in his "Palazzo" in Monastero, North-East of the centre of Aquileia. Lepoldo Zuccolo is the promoter of the first Public museum of Aquileia, in the ancient Baptistery and Church of the Pagan (both contiguous to the Basilica): it was founded in 1807 and called "Eugeniano" in honour of Eugène de Beauharnais, chief of the Central Government in Milan, but its political implications made it soon be closed in occasion of the Austrian restoration. A new project started with a city Museum opened by Carl von Czoernig in 1858, in 1879 a Government Board was established, until the Caesareum Museum Aquilejense was founded in 1882. Already from 1875, Enrico Majonica - who studied at Vienna University - had begun to acquire main private collections and to look for a proper seat, that was chosen in 1881 - the villa Cassis Faraone. The solemn inauguration took place at the presence of Archduke Charles Ludwig, on August 3rd 1882; Maionica was appointed the office of manager. In 1898 began the construction of the galleries for the stone monuments (Lapidario) Relevant restoration works and rearrangement of the exhibition were conducted in 1954: to this year dates back the visible organization of the rooms.