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  • Il Museo universale. Dal sogno di Napoleone a Canova
    The Universal Museum. From Napoleon's Dream to Canova
    Roma - Exhibitions, from 16/12/16 to 12/03/17
  • Il Museo universale. Dal sogno di Napoleone a Canova
    The Universal Museum. From Napoleon's Dream to Canova
    Roma - Exhibitions, from 16/12/16 to 12/03/17

The Universal Museum. From Napoleon's Dream to Canova



2016 marks a crucial anniversary in the history of European civilisation and culture in general and for Italy in particular.

It was in 1816 that the Papal States' masterpieces of art and archaeology returned to Rome after the Napoleonic confiscations. This event was preceded and accompanied by other administrations of the peninsula recovering many of more than 500 paintings that had been confiscated throughout the Italian territories in the course of French military campaigns from 1796 to 1814, and packed off to Paris where they were selected for display in the embryonic Musée du Louvre.

As the works of art that had been taken to France began to return home, the whole of Italy was confronted for the first time with the problem of what to do with the thousands of paintings and sculptures that had been removed from churches and convents after the religious orders had been suppressed in the early 19th century. The of the Musée du Louvre, as an universal museum, the loss of several masterpieces of art remained in France, but most of all the sheer mass of paintings now in state ownership and stored in improvised warehouses, fuelled a lively debate on the public value of art heritage and fostered the foundation of museums that still number among the country's leading cultural institutions today, for example the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice or the Pinacoteca in Bologna.

It was in these and other museums in Italy and abroad, which looked with interest to the Louvre's experience, that a revisitation of art history began and eventually led to significant progress being made in the fields both of scholarship and of the public display of cultural heritage.

Thus the aim of this exhibition is to retrace the salient phases in the historical events discussed above, but also, indeed above all, to offer a critical interpretation capable of stimulating today's audiences to appreciate the value that our national cultural heritage acquired in those years, when it was seen for the first time as a key tool for educating the citizen and at the same time as a playing a linchpin role in a common European identity.

This interpretation seems still today to be absolutely relevant and topical, which is why the exhibition sets out also to trigger an occasion to reflect on the cultural heritage as a primary terrain for the definition of a common European language.



Info and booking

Find it on the map

from monday to friday 9.00 am - 1.00 pm and 2.00pm - 6.00 pm
on Saturday 9.00 am - 2.00 pm


Information, booking, guided tour for individuals or groups
+39 06 39967500


Information, booking, guided tour for schools

 848 082 408

The Universal Museum. From Napoleon's Dream to Canova




Admission ticket
  • - Full € 12
  • - Reduced € 9.50
Other Reduced
  • Reduced for:

    - young people aged 18 - 25 

    - teachers

    - groups who book in advance (minimum 7  - maximum 25 people) 

    - groups with special concessions

    - forces of law and order and the military on producing an id

Other Reduced Event ticket
  • free:

    - school groups who book in advance

    - under 18

    - disabled (free admission for the person accompanying them)

    - italian tourist guides with document

    - icom and icrom card holders

    -mìbact employees

    - thanks to lottomatica free entry for under 30 on the first wednesday of the month from 2:00pm to 7:00pm. it is not available for groups.


  • Guided tour for the exhibition

    € 100.00 

    Reservation required (min. 7 max 25 people), call center +39 06 399 67 450

  • Guided tour for the exhibition

    € 80,00 

    Reservation required (min. 7 max 25 people) call center +39 0639967200

Reservation Fee
  • individuals 

    € 2.00



    required, € 30.00 (min. 7 - max. 25 people)



    required, € 20.00 (min 7 - max. 25 students)

Didactic Tours and other Services to buy
    • Individuals

    Guided tour in Italian for the exhibition
    On Saturday, Sunday and on holidays
    10.30am, 12.00pm, 4.30pm, 6.00pm
    € 5.00