The rich archaeology section of the Museum has recently been created thanks to casual finds, surface surveys and systematic excavations. The other section collects pieces, which had been in the hands of the municipality of Santarcangelo for years, coming from municipal buildings and churches destroyed between the 18th
and the 19th
century. The archaeological finds, as well as the medieval and modern pieces exhibited in the Museum, are considered meaningful –although partial– documents of the history of Santarcagelo. They provide interesting sparkles on the local population, on the development of this town and its condition, its life, its culture, its religion and its relationship with near and far towns.
For the community of Santarcangelo, this heritage has always played a pivotal role. Therefore, we cannot forget the effort put by the municipal administration into claiming the property of books, paintings and furnishings coming from the Franciscan monasteries of Friars Minor Conventual and Capuchins of Santarcangelo that were destroyed and incorporated into the state property because of the subversive laws of 1862 of the Kingdom of Italy. The litigations with the State ended in 1868 and these goods were given to the municipality. The books formed the starting point for the present town Library. The paintings partially constituted the outline for a modest “picture gallery” (that did never take off independently) and some of them were placed in the collegiate church, therefore called “Collegiata”, and probably in the Chiesa del Suffragio. The holy furnishings were placed in the local collegiate church in 1867, even the most valuable ones donated by Clemens XIV to Friars Minor Conventual, whose preservation was considered extremely important by the Ministry. The inventory of these furnishings consists of 97 entries (including more than four hundred pieces), signed by those who at the time were the mayor, Antonio Baldini, and the sacristan of the Collegiata, the canon Father Gaetano Raschi. More than a century later, only about a dozen of these objects were found and identified.
As for the archaeological heritage, it has mainly been found in the last decades: it grew considerably from the 70s and is still growing, as demonstrated by two interesting excavations started in 2006 and now concluded. A large quantity of material has been collected, and it is “unequivocal”: furnaces and more furnaces indicate Santarcangelo was a production centre organized in small well-structured enterprises that renovated themselves for centuries. This centre grew thanks to the Via Emilia (the main street in the area), the streets leading to the Valle del Marecchia and to the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the streams Uso and Marecchia and the abundance of waters that in some seasons could help wood transportation, and, more than anything, fertile and well-organized farmlands. Despite this, for a long time, this centre has not been considered a village and a residential centre, but a sort of “craft area” where workers carried out seasonal activities, typical of the countryside. Not all the archaeological material exhibited in the Museum comes from organized excavations: it is the product of a careful and keen collecting activity of local researchers, whose valuable contribution enriched these collections and increased our knowledge on this area and its history. Their constant search has often been at the base of proper archaeological excavations, thanks to their prompt notifications and to the indications given by the relevant authorities.
The Museum develops on five levels, with the entrance on the fourth, situated on Via della Costa. On the first and second level (the lowest ones) some rooms are dedicated to temporary exhibitions (that also have an independent entrance on Via dei Fabbri), while on the highest one, there are conference rooms and educational laboratories
The museum on google maps: