The world that wasn't there

Pre-Columbian art in the Ligabue Collection

Florence, Museo Archeologico Nazionale
19th September 2015 - 6th March 2016

Life, traditions and cosmogonies of the Meso and South American cultures before Columbus: a major exhibition that introduces the public to “the world that wasn’t there” Never-before-seen masterpieces from the Ligabue Collection, precious evidence from the ancient Medici collections and international loans accompany visitors on a spectacular journey into pre-Columbian civilizations.

The world that wasn’t there is an exhibition dedicated to pre-Columbian civilizations, totally unknown to the Western world before the voyage of Christopher Columbus. A corpus of masterpieces never exhibited before, mostly from the Ligabue Collection, precious testimonies from the ancient Medici collections and international loans accompany the visitor on a journey of discovery of these civilizations.
The choice of setting up this exhibition at the Archaeological Museum of Florence was made because the collecting interest of the Medici meant that, starting in the 16th century, many artifacts of ethnographic interest from the Americas were collected here. Unlike what could happen in other cities, natural center of arrival and sorting of these materials, in Florence the Medici sent specifically to search for these treasures. 
On display are a series of works of art – more than 120 – expressions of the great civilizations of the so-called Mesoamerica (most of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, part of Honduras and El Salvador) and the Andes (Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, as far as Chile and Argentina): from the Olmecs to the Mayas, to the Aztecs; from the Chavin culture to the Tiahuanaco and Moche cultures, to the Incas.
Promoted by the Centro Studi Ricerche Ligabue (Ligabue Research Center) and the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana-Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Firenze (Superintendence for the Archaeological Heritage of Tuscany-National Archaeological Museum of Florence), the exhibition presents exceptional and unique pieces that belonged to the Medici collections, as well as precious works from the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris and from prestigious international collections, but the central nucleus is made up of a vast selection of works from ancient American cultures belonging to the Ligabue Collection.
A few months after his death, this exhibition is also a tribute to the figure of Giancarlo Ligabue, palaeontologist, scholar of archaeology and anthropology, explorer, enlightened entrepreneur and passionate collector.

Museo Archeologico Nazionale
Piazza Santissima Annunziata 9/b
50122 Florence 

Opening hours
Saturday – Monday, 08.30 am – 2.30 pm
from Tuesday to Friday, 08.30 – 7.00 pm

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Adults € 4,00
Reduced € 2,00

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