The Spanish National Archaeological Museum (MAN) is the most importat historic museum in Spain. The museum holds more than 13.000 objects that shown the evolution of the cultures that inhabited this territory from their origins to the XIXth century, and also offering an essential tour arround the main ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean ambit, as Egypt and Greece. Inside the collection we could hightlight the ‘so called’ ‘Lady of Elche’, the most iconic artwork of the Iberian Culture.
Humans have built the story filling it of the most varied facets, has coexisted with nature and transformed. Has drawn myths to explain the phenomena is concerned. Has raised hamlets, villages and cities to sustain complex social organizations, kingdoms and empires. He has given laws. Has manufactured and developed tools and instruments based on their needs and the progress of scientific and technical knowledge. In his mind there have been beautiful and evocative stories, music competing with nature, and their hands have come out beautiful works of art guided by the aesthetic of the time. Has traced, ultimately, a complex and rich history over millennia. The National Archaeological Museum testifies to all this through the collections preserved, and especially as it has to do with the history of Spain and its relationship Mediterranean.
The National Archaeological Museum of Spain is a public institution managed by the Spanish Ministry of Culture. It was founded in 1867 by royal decree of Queen Elizabeth II. Its creation was motivated by the need for a museum, as in other European countries, to preserve, classify and explain the archaeological, ethnographic, numismatic and decorative arts that had gathered at the Royal Spanish monarchs Library, Royal Cabinet of Natural History and other institutions.
Subsequently, this heritage has increased by purchases, donations and revenue of materials from archaeological excavations in the various Spanish provinces.
National Archaeological Museum of Spain
The Museum is settled in a XIX Century building, former Palace of Museums and Libraries. Nowadays this building is shared with the Spanish National Library.
The museum was housed in an old mansion called "El casino de la Reina" in the nearby Embajadores Street which had belonged to Isabel de Braganza, wife of Ferdinand VII. In 1895, funds were transferred permanently to the Palace Library and Museum, designed by the architect Francisco de Alarcón Jareño in neoclassical style, occupying floors overlooking the Calle Serrano and part of the sideline.
Among the spatial restructuring that followed, the most important took place between 1968 and 1981: the three original plants became five and all collections were reinstalled with new museological concepts.
Currently (2009-2013), a complete renovation of the building and the permanent exhibition is being undertaken.