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The museum building, which is now called National Archaeological Museumwas built back in 1615. From that time, until 1777, the University of Naples was located in it, after which, by order of King Ferdinand IV, it was reconstructed and re-planned to house the Royal Library and the Bourbon Museum.
Throughout the XIX century. Museum expositions were replenished with various exhibits from the excavations of Pompeii, Stabia and Herculaneum. Since 1860, it became the property of the state, was renamed the National Museum and became available to the public. Until the 60s of the twentieth century, the museum's exposition included a collection of paintings, which, later, was transferred to the palace of Capodimonte. Since then, he began to bear the name of the archaeological museum.
National Archaeological Museum of Naples keeps in its halls many priceless works of art. His collection of Roman and Greek antiquities is unique and is one of the most significant in the world.
Antique sculpture occupies 15 halls of 40, the first floor of the museum building. Of particular interest are the statues of Aphrodite, Venus, Hercules represented here, the famous “Dorifor” (Spear Bear), the largest antique sculptural composition “The Farnesian Bull” and “The Farnesian Hercules”.
On the second floor Fresco hall, with frescoes from Herculaneum and Pompeii, Isis Hall, which houses the partially restored Isis Temple in Pompeii, with works of art and objects from the temple inside. The space between the floors is filled with mosaics from Pompeii. The greatest treasures that Naples keeps in its museum include the Herculaneum painting "Medea before the murder of her children."
The museum has a very rich numismatic collection, items from bronze, silver, ivory, terracotta items. The Egyptian collection presented here is the third in Italy (in importance).
Of interest is founded in 1819 Secret officecontaining reliefs, plates with texts, murals and other various objects of an erotic nature. Previously, the office was available for inspection only to a narrow circle of people, and finally opened it to visitors since 2000.