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"Autunno Apuano" - Bosa di Careggine, sabato 27 e domenica 28 settembre 2014 - due pullman gratuiti da Pietrasanta e Massa per partecipare all'evento domenicale (prenotazione obbligatoria allo 0583 644.242)

Museum of Bended Stone

Instructions for the visit                         


Marble, culture, territory 
in 27 centuries of history

The Museum was created from the idea of gathering in the same place the best and most important heritage left by Apuan marble culture in the territory and beyond over the centuries. The aim is the ostensive preservation of “holotypes” of the most typical marble products, beginning with serial productions, to develop specialized archeological knowledge and not to lose artisanal and artistic traditions which unfortunately are being forgotten.
Much of the material culture of marble has been lost in 27 centuries of history, from the beginning in the VI Cent. until today. Therefore, several techniques and knowledge especially from the most ancient periods need to be reconstructed through mineral archaeology. The Museum, therefore, not only reclaims handiworks and collects them but it also functions as an applied research centre for this particular field. Such a cultural institution is also a fundamental element in the territorial system of sites and goods of archeo-mineral interest which comprises historical caves and mines and documentation centers. In 2001 the Parco archeologico delle Apuane project (Archaeological Apuan Alps Park Project) had already recognized their importance as examples to better document the evolution in time of marble mining activity and production in the region.
The peculiar name of the Museum was taken from a work by Costantino Paolicchi in 1981 – I paesi della Pietra piegata (Villages of Bended stone) – to represent his interest for that specific area of the Apuan Alps where for centuries men have known the secret of moulding and bending (“piegare”) at their will the noblest and purest “stone”: marble. 
The Museum, planned and built by Ente Parco Regionale delle Alpi Apuane, was opened to public on 31th may 2008. It is situated in Levigliani di Stazzema (Lucca) in a late XVIII-century building of historic-environmental value which was completely restored and enlarged in 1910. The exhibition is distributed on all four floors.

Areas of the Museum

ground floor:

Room "Pure and holy marbles"

Pure and holy marbles (in niveo templo)
The area dedicated to sacred and funerary art exhibits important handiworks which testify to marble natural suitability for religious-content work of art. Columns, capitals, balustrades, vases, sculptures and bas-reliefs with religious images are here exhibited. It is a productive sector which in modern and contemporary age has been the leading sector of artistic and artisanal working techniques which use Apuan white and coloured marble.
Post council architecture choices for poor and local materials led into a crisis the sector which for long had contributed to several studies on sculpture, especially in Carrara, Pietrasanta, Seravezza and Querceta.

Room "The coulours of marble"

first floor:

The colours of marble (luxuriosa materia)
The section is dedicated to coloured Apuan marble which nowadays is rarely used by the mining industry but was once particularly famous and prestigious. 
It was especially appreciated for its polychromatic decorations and baroque tarsias but it almost fell into disuse for furniture and luxury products.
The windows exhibit a rich collection of ornamental coloured Apuan marble of historical value and examples of handiworks exploiting the evocative effects of stones polychromy.

Stones for houses and workshops (locus alchemicus)
For centuries kitchens and chemist’s shops have used a common tool, especially made of marble: mortar. Crushing of organic and inorganic materials was a typical activity in both places. Marble and local stones were raw materials for the production not only of mortars but also for vessels for the conservation of oil and lard and for containers for fire. The Museum houses a Park herbal about the flora of the Apuan Alps with exsiccata of plants of high naturalistic value.

Room "Stones for houses and workshops"

second floor:

27 centuries of history (marmor signum temporum)
Thanks to the material testimony of some marble serial but symbolic pieces of art almost three thousand years of history come alive in a single place. 
Especially architectonic work and everyday life tools mark the inexorable passing of centuries. 
Among local handiworks of historical and archeological value there are: a non pictographic funerary cippus with half-circle crowning from the Etrurian period; a large fragment of trabeation of an imperial Villa Rustica; basements, kingposts and capitals from late-medieval poliforas.

Library, archives and laboratory
It is the productive and lively area of the Museum. It preserves bibliographic material, offers documents and instruments for studies and research and houses the editorial office of Acta apuana, the Park scientific magazine. 
In the archives there are important deeds and maps of the history of the territory among which manuscripts by naturalist and entrepreneur Emilio Simi (1820-1875) need to be mentioned. The laboratory is well equipped for petrographic and microstructural analysis on ornamental stones.

Room "27 centuries of history"

Room "Apuan Ligurian tombs in Levigliani"

third floor:

Apuan Ligurian tombs in Levigliani
 (…ferrum hastae, lapides sepulcri…)
A special archaeological area exhibits ceramic findings (cinerary urns, cups, etc.) and other type of tomb equipment (fibula, armlets, rings etc.) from some graves dating back to the III-II century B. C. just before Roman conquest of the territory. Worth of mentioning is a javelin tip. It is thought to be bended for ritual purposes and it has miniature dimensions because it belonged to a child. Graves were kept in a lithic box consisting of five-six schist slabs with loose stones for external protection. 

Exhibited materials derive from chance discoveries and scheduled excavations in Levigliani necropolis which is the largest burial ground of the people of the Apuan Ligurians in the geographic region which still keeps their name.

Instructions for the visit

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