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Florence’s Indian Museum

Discovering one of the city’s lesser known treasures

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Though not on the beaten tourist track, Florence’s Indian Museum, hosted in the Museum of Natural History’s Anthropology and Ethnology Department, has a rich history. Founded in 1886 by Angelo Gubernatis, a renowned scholar of the Orient, it was inaugurated in what was then the Regio Institute of Superior Studies, in rooms that were appropriately decorated and frescoed in the Punjab style.

The museum can be visited by prior appointment only. Its collections were gathered during De Gubernatis’s travels to India. Initially, it also contained zoological and botanical artifacts and hundreds of manuscripts destined to become part of Florence’s Central National Library. Visitors will find many significant artifacts in the museum’s collection including religious bronzes and ivory plates depicting erotic scenes which came from the Tanjore throne. The museum also hosts various sculptures and architectural fragments from temples, ceramics, games and fabrics, in addition to a wide-ranging photographic archive.

The Department of Anthropology and Ethnology
Palazzo Nonfinito
Via del Proconsolo, 12 - Florence
Tel. 0552396449

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays from 9am to 1pm and Saturdays from 9am to 5pm. Closed Wednesdays. Closed on January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, August 15 and December 25.

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