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A short history of the Museo del Paesaggio

“Yet I do not lose hope” said “il Pallanzotto”, ordered by Duke Francesco Sforza to overcome an immense difficulty. Pallanzotto was the nickname of one
Bertolotto de’ Giorgi,
a cloth merchant of Pallanza. On boasting that he was so rich that he could cover most of
Lake Maggiore
with a silk cloth, he was invited and later forced by the Duke of Milan to build at his own expense the tower of the
Sforzesco Castle
which was subsequently called after him and is still known as the “Pallanzotto Tower”.
“Yet I do not lose hope” was adopted in 1914 by the Museo del Paesaggio as its motto, in recognition of the difficulties it knew it would have to face in achieving its aims.

1909:  Antonio Massara and the “Pro Verbano” association of various towns in the area found the Historic and Artistic Museum of Lake Maggiore and adjacent valleys.

1914:  The Museum takes the name of Museo del Paesaggio (landscape museum) and is housed in Palazzo Viani Dugnani. Its founders include the Ministry of Education, the province of Novara, the Town Council of Pallanza, the Italian Touring Club, the Novara Chamber of Commerce, the Banca Popolare di Novara and the Banca Popolare di Intra.

1938: The heirs of Paolo Troubetzkoy donate the sculptor’s plaster casts to the Museum.

1961: Vittorio Tonolli donates the archaeological material unearthed at Ornavasso by Enrico Bianchetti at the end of the 19th century.

1981: With a grant from the Piedmont Region the Museum purchases 53 works by Arturo Martini.

1988: The Landscape Study Centre is set up.

1996: The Museum’s collections are increased through donations by Eugenio Cefis (5,023 ex-votos) and Arnaldo Tozzi (19 paintings by Mario Tozzi).

1999: The Art, Culture and Popular Devotion Section is opened in the newly acquired Palazzo Biumi Innocenti, with an exhibition of 715 painted ex-votos.

2000: The Archaeological Section is opened, with the Bianchetti collection on display.

2007: The Museum’s third centre, called “Casa Ceretti”, is opened in Verbania Intra.

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