THE HISTORY OF THE CALDERINI NATURAL SCIENCE MUSEUM
The project for the constitution of a Civic Museum of Natural History was the idea of Father Pietro Calderini, one of the main characters in Valsesia during the second half of the XIX Century.
The idea of a Natural Science Museum came to him during the 1860s as a support for the educational activities of the Secondary Technical School: he asked primarily for the help of the Society for the Support to the Study of Drawing in Valsesia, which already possessed a small scientific collection.
Since its opening in 1867, the museum created by Pietro Calderini became not only a place for the education of the youth, and thus a valid support for the local schools, but also a promoter of scientific studies: Calderini himself encouraged donations of findings, artifacts and documents that could enrich the museum and its library.
It didnt take long for the museum to grow: thanks to its founders connections with naturalists, donations came not only from Valsesia but also from nearby regions, representing all branches of natural sciences. Soon enough other collections formed, regarding archaeology, etnoathropology and liberal arts.
When Pietro Calderini died in 1906, the museum was entitled after him: even though his will demanded that the museum remain a point of reference for scientific activities in Valsesia, the loss of such a charismatic personality, which had been the soul of the museum for forty years, brought to a decrease of the donations, caused by the interruption of his connections with many scientific personalities.
The museum was moved in the 1960s onto the second floor of the Museum Palace, and cannot be seen at the moment: a progressive restoration of its artifacts will bring to the reopening on its 150th anniversary (1867 – 2017). A small selection of already restored items can be visited on the ground floor, giving a glance of the many collections belonging to the museum.