Last week my son was invited for a birthday party at the MAEC Museum in Cortona, Tuscany. In this museum two Egyptian mummies are kept. At school they have just had history lessons about Egypt, farao’s, pyramids and mummification, so this was terribly interesting for them. For me it was a good occasion to join them since I had never been in this museum. I was pleasantly surprised!
The museum was founded in 1727 (!) simultanuously with the foundation of the Etruscan Acadamy. The aim of the Academy was and is the dissemination of historical and artistic culture. Today the museum hosts an impressive amount of artifacts from Etruscan and Roman times, all found in the Cortona area. One of the masterpieces we saw was an Etruscan oil lamp of bronze dating back to the 5th century before Christ. The museum also holds artifacts from other periods, like the two Egyptian mummies that we visited.
In the 19th century a bishop from Cortona was sent to Egypt. He took the mummies home and donated them to the museum. Many artifacts in the museum have been donated through the years by important families of the Cortona area. They are all a testimonial of the rich cultural heritage of Cortona and the surrounding area on the borders of Umbria and Tuscany.
When visiting the area of Lake Trasimeno, Cortona is certainly worthwhile a visit for an evening out or an icecream in the afternoon. Now I can also fully recommend a visit to the museum, especially if you are interested in the history of this beautiful area on the border from Tuscany and Umbria. The museum is in the old city centre of Cortona on the Piazza Signorelli. You can’t miss it.