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Osiris project

The small egyptological collections in Italy, released by web

Besides the large inventory of Egyptian antiquities kept in the Egyptian Antiquities Museum in Turin and collections of further substantial consistency of the Egyptian Museum in Florence and the Egyptian section of the MANN - National Archaeological Museum of Naples, special aspects of Italian history have brought about the existence of a widespread heritage of the finds of Egyptian civilization in the country. Already in 1871 the Ministry of Education of the Kingdom of Italy entrusted Luigi Vassalli with the task of drawing up a report on the Egyptian museums of Italy and published in 1873 at the end of the task . About ten years afterwards, a report on the Egyptian documents in Italy was written for the French Ministry of Education by the Egyptologist, Gaston Maspero following one of his scientific trips. The director of the Egyptian Museum in Turin, Ernesto Schiaparelli poured sensitiviteness and interest in this heritage, who in the first half of the twentieth century enriched and strengthened the network of Egyptian antiquities in the area with storage that broaden the Egyptologist panorama present in locations other than Turin.

After the war, particularly in the sixties of the last century marked a revival of interest in the common heritage of Egyptian antiquities in Italy, to which were dedicated exhibitions, museum re-stagings, conventions and specific monographies also in a more general direction to reconstruct the material that the events of ancient history and its rediscovery had dispersed. From this view of studies and research matured the OSIRIS project, which aims to recover the "dismembered" parts of the ancient history of Egypt like the ancient Egyptian myth of Osiris, whose body killed and dispersed by his evil brother Seth, is lovingly reassembled by his wife, Isis . The aim of the project is the systematic documentation of materials, with priority to those as yet unpublished, supplemented by photographs and the topography of areas of origin and of places of further dispersion in the form of fragments belonging to the same work or in the same archaeological context.

More than 90 Italian collections show particular interest in connection with various types of acquisition. Egyptian finds already reached Italian territory in Roman times to decorate shrines dedicated to Egyptian deities, whose cult was widespread beyond the Nile Valley from the first century BC. Unearthed over the centuries where since the  15th century they asserted the rediscovery of the ancient world, first appearing in the first collections of antiquities. An additional element for the establishment of Egyptian collections was the phenomenon of Egyptology collections in the programme of the rediscovery of ancient civilizations outside Europe by the European cultural experience, in particular between the 18th and 19th centuries and following the Napoleonic expedition to Egypt and finally excavation digs also promoted in the Nile Valley by Italy.

The project involves connecting with studies and active research in the area, interestedorganisations and institutions with particular reference to Egypt and its archaeological sites and particular attention will be devoted to scientific diagnosis in order to increase the wealth of knowledge in ancient Egyptian material for the aims of historical and cultural preservation. Guide Items will be selected for leadership training for young people in the observation of the cultural good as the common heritage of the history of man. 


1873, Vassalli L., I  musei egizi d’Italia, Milano.


1880, 1882, 1883 Maspero G., « Rapport à M. Jules Ferry, ministre de l’Instruction publique sur une mission en Italie », in  Recueil de travaux relatifs à la philologie et à l’archéologie égyptiennes et assyriennes, II,  pp. 159-199 ; III, 1882, pp. 103-128 ; t. IV, 1883, pp. 125-151.


1962, Curto S., L’Egitto antico nelle collezioni dell’Italia settentrionale, Bologna.


1972, Malaise  M. , Inventaire préliminaire des  documents égyptiens découverts en Italie, Leiden.


1989, D’Amicone , E., “Itinerari egittologici italiani: la riscoperta dell’antico Egitto (secoli XVIII- XIX), in Aldo Gallotta e Ugo Marazzi (a cura di), La conoscenza dell’Asia e dell’Africa in Italia nei secoli XVIII e XIX. III/II, Napoli 1989 pp. 831- 844.


1991, Morigi Govi G., Curto S., Pernigotti S. (a cura di), L’Egitto fuori dell’Egitto, Bologna.


1996, Piacentini P. « Les collections “mineures” d’Antiquités égyptiennes en Italie »,  in Bulletin de la Societé française d’Égyptologie 137, pp. .13-31.


Le antichità egizie a Roma e in Italia  in - 10k - 2009-11-25.