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National Museum of Oriental Art, Rome

National Museum of Oriental Art, Rome

The ‘Giuseppe Tucci’ National Museum of Oriental Art is one of the most interesting museums in Rome. The collection highlights the art of Oriental and Asian nations. It is located inside the 19th-century palace of Brancaccio, a noble family from Naples.

History of the museum

The National Museum of Oriental Art was opened in 1958 with the help of the Italian Institute For The Middle And Far East and the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research.

The objects collected by Giuseppe Tucci are the major part of the collection. All his life the scientist had been treasuring various pieces he found during expeditions. Those were mainly artworks from Nepal, Iran, India, and Tibet.

In 50 years of its existence, the museum had been increasing its number of exhibits through own efforts and contributions from patrons of the arts.

Who is Giuseppe Tucci

The National Museum of Oriental Art was named after Giuseppe Tucci, one of the first Italian orientalist. Over the years of work he took part in numerous expeditions and wrote more than 360 academic papers, focusing on the history of Oriental art. Aside from research articles, he was the author of monographs and teaching aids. Giuseppe Tucci was also the founder of the Italian Institute For The Middle And Far East.

The collection of the National Museum of Oriental Art

The museum offers a large number of valuable exhibits put on display in 14 halls of the palace. The highlight of the collection is Iranian ceramics from the Iron Age. There are also:

  • antique containers of 14th-10th century BC,
  • women’s jewelry of 7th-5th century BC,
  • statuette,
  • tableware and other things.

The collection is split into several thematic exhibitions, each one of them introduces visitors to history and culture of a certain region:

  1. The hall of Japanese and Chinese culture – here you can find paintings and other artworks of 17th-19th century. There are also antique household items made of bronze and stone and plenty of Buddhist statuettes.
  2. The Islamic hall features handmade ceramics and many iron craftworks.
  3. The coin hall displays a great collection of coins from different times and areas.
  4. The exhibition dedicated to the Near and Middle East presents unique exhibits that were created in 5th-4th century BC. These include ancient jewelry, gold artifacts, silver tableware of the Sasanian dynasty.
  5. The art collection of Tibet is the most precious in the National Museum of Oriental Art since it offers a large and diversified number of exhibits, such as religious utensils, canvases, household items, toys, furniture and many other remarkable objects.

How to get

The ‘Giuseppe Tucci’ National Museum of Oriental Art is located in the center of Rome, near Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II and the Basilica of Saint Praxedes. You can get here if you take:

  • tram №3,
  • bus № 31, 33, 714, 982,
  • subway (line A).

Opening hours:

  • from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays;
  • from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays;
  • closed on Mondays.


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