This is not just "The Year of Archaeology in Tuscany"; it’s also the year in which the MAEC Museum of Cortona celebrates 10 years. For the occasion, special events, presentations and conferences have been planned. So, there’s no better time to plan a visit to the charming town of Cortona and its leading museum. The Etruscan Academy Museum has been housed in the stately Palazzo Casali since 1728, while the underground floors, once used as prisons, are home to the Museum of the Etruscan and Roman City of Cortona. Together, they constitute the MAEC – Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca e della città di Cortona (Museum of the Etruscan Academy and Town of Cortona). This exhibition space, covering over 6500 square feet, accommodates some extraordinary masterpieces produced by the Etruscan civilization (like the Tabula Cortonensis, one of the longest Etruscan texts in the world), and finds from the archaeological area surrounding the town (a true "Archeological Park", with 11 sites, including the grandiose Etruscan tombs of Sodo and Camucia). The exhibition setting is both traditional and modern, with a multimedia approach, Italian and English texts, and a Braille section. The imposing and challenging works for the opening of the underground route have also revealed an impressive Etruscan wall, more than 15 meters long. Some of the MAEC’s symbols: The Egyptian boat A boat model on which the deceased is depicted receiving a report by the scribe and his other administrators. It’s typical of the Middle Kingdom period (2060-1785 BCE approximately). The gold Fibula A gold Fibula in the form of a crouching panther. Muse Polyhymnia It is one of the symbols of the Academy, donated by Luisa Bartolozzi Tommasi in 1851 and the subject of a long legal battle. It’s a painting in encaustic on a slab of slate. Tabula cortonensis The Tabula is made of soft bronze, with a high percentage of lead, to make incision easier. The inscription fills an entire face, with 32 lines of writing (recto), and continues on the other side (verso) with 8 lines; the alphabet is the one used between the late third and second centuries BCE in the area of Cortona. It was exhibited for some time in a public place. Subsequently, it was broken into eight pieces and destined for scrapping; the fragments were kept in a moist environment, along with other objects of iron, as we can tell by the traces (stains and encrustations). The loss of the eighth fragment doesn’t affect the understanding of the text: an act referring to a land transaction. Etruscan Chandelier Discovered by chance in 1840, it soon became part of the collection and is one of the most important pieces. INFORMATION MAEC museum Piazza Signorelli 9 – Cortona Phone +39.0575.630415-637235 web Opening times: November – March 10am – 5pm, close Mondays April – October every day, 10am – 7pm Tickets: 10 €, reduced 7 € (6-12 years old) MAEC + Diocesan Museum 13 €, reduced 9€ The museum is fully accessible to visitors with physical disabilities.