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The history of the Museum

Facciata ampia With deliberation of the podestà no. 280 dated November 25th, 1933, approved by the G.P.A. in the meeting on December 28th, 1933, the Municipality of Canosa di Puglia created “a Municipal Museum with the aim of collecting, organising and preserving all the archaeological material discovered and yet to be discovered by excavation in the City’s territory.” The Municipal Museum was classified as a “Secondary Museum”, (ranking No.36 in the 4th List - Secondary Museums) by September 15th, 1965 Ministerial Decree which reclassified local Museums in accordance with and as prescribed by Art.1 of Law No. 1080 dated September 22nd, 1960. Following this measure, the City Administration proceeded to nominate a commission entrusted with assisting the Museum’s Director in “carrying out the technical and artistic management of the Museum” by issuing Town Council’s resolution No. 144 on February 18th, 1967. On June 14th, 1967 the Municipal Museum’s Operational and Organizational Regulatory Plan, prepared by the Commission, was submitted to the Inter-Ministerial Committee, which expressed its approval. On March 12th, 1968 the Prefect of Bari urged the local Administration to proceed with the ratification of the Regulatory Plan which was finally approved with a Town Tu in DauniosCouncil deliberation on April 21st, 1970. During this bureaucratic course, the decisive element was the personality of Mr. Giuseppe Morea, honorary Director of the Municipal Museum, who worked tirelessly to see that the Museum did not become just another container-warehouse for archaeological finds, but rather an institution engaged in protecting the community’s heritage, coordinating and supervising personally all urgent interventions. His patient and painstaking work to precisely log all the acquisitions of the Museum, to the point of underlining in red all the items that had been stolen (a detail that highlighted the state of precarious safety of the available infrastructures) was worthy of note. His legacy was carried on admirably by the people who came after: Mr. Amedeo Di Chio, Mr. Giovanni Cramarossa and lastly by Mr. Sabino Facciolongo, who resigned, to facilitate the change of course, on January 7th, 2003, after the Municipal Museum was moved from Palazzo Casieri to Palazzo Iliceto. It is currently directed by the Official of the Heritage Promotion Office, Mr. Sabino Germinario.

Palazzo Iliceto is not simply a new container-like museum but it satisfies the need to express the vivacity of the archaeological history of Canosa by means of up-to-date fruition itineraries, whilst maintaining continuity with the past. After the exhibition entitled: “Il dio con la folgore”, the one entitled: “Tu in daunios” and organised by Ms. Marisa Corrente from the Superintendency for Archaeological Heritage of Puglia, was inaugurated on May 20th, 2007. This exhibition returned the surviving material from the violent looting of Daunian Canusium.

Palazzo Iliceto

Palazzo Iliceto, which is located in the castle area of Via Trieste e Trento, is probably one of the oldest in the town. The first historical record of the building appears in a 1586 picture. The building was built on a previously existing structure, as the framing of the walls demonstrates. The arches, as they were depicted in the 1586 picture and confirmed by one of the Abbot Saint-Non’s etchings constituted a structure that was independent from the surrounding building. The entrance is characterized by a monumental stairway that reaches a grand loggia. The massive structure has been used as an exhibit facility for quite some time. Until 2005 Palazzo Iliceto was home to the Museo delle Marionette (the Puppet Museum), which exhibited the priceless Dell’Aquila-Taccardi collection, a grand ensemble of large marionettes carved in wood, with authentic crystal eyes, precious silk period clothes and finely chiselled copper and alpaca armour. All the puppets were displayed against an authentic, period stage set and, above all, dominated the characters of the historical Disfida di Barletta, (The Challenge of Barletta) celebrated by Massimo D’Azeglio’s novel. In May of 2005 the Building inaugurated a new and important exhibit entitled: “Il dio con la folgore”. It was sponsored by the Canosian Archaeological Foundation and was dedicated to the sacred images and religious practices of Canusium. The building also hosted theatrical plays in the summer of 2003, open air film viewing in the summer of ’04 and ‘05 and charity events in the summer of ’07 and ’08. Palazzo Iliceto has been the official headquarters of the Municipal Museum of Canosa, since May 20th, 2007.
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