The Italian Museum of Cast Iron is born from the desire to recover and make available to the public a series of products that defined an age, as well as a particular way of designing and experiencing urban spaces.
Throughout the nineteenth century and in the first few decades of the twentieth century, iron casting was used to both complement architecture and create manufactured articles that would go on to not only make urban areas more attractive but also complete and enhance the functional aspect.
Even today, towns large and small reveal to the suitably trained eye a wealth of objects that go unnoticed to many, and that few feel are worthy of being preserved.
The collection (1846 – 1930 ca.) includes more than 200 pieces in two different locations: the little church of Santa Maria delle Lacrime in Longiano opened in 1998 and the new Via Emilia site. Visitors can see mainly gas or electric lamp-posts of various shapes and sizes from many towns, which have been replaced with more modern lighting.
Also on show are several interesting example of fountains, benches and a vaste range of brakets and balaustrades.
Church of Santa Maria delle Lacrime
One section of the Museum is located in the old church of Santa Maria delle Lacrime in Longiano (FC). Built in 1772 on top of an original place of worship dating back to 1506, it is named after an image of the Virgin Mary that began to ooze liquid on March 2 1506, arousing the devotion of the people.
Today the image is preserved in the Museum of Sacred Art (San Giuseppe oratory, Longiano), whereas the little church, which has long been deconsecrated, after being carefully and charmingly restored, hosts some of the most significant items from the collection of the Italian Museum of Cast Iron.
MIG is a new and larger museum site inaugurated on 15 May 2010. It provides space at last for the entire collection, supplying the opportunity for a reasoned itinerary with a wealth of information.
The museum is located in a large industrial area that still retains traces of the recent production; it houses artifacts unique in size and originality.
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