The Museum nowadays: the Carthusian miracle
Towards the end of the XIX century, the original Gallery is divided into three independent museums, all of which are in constant growth and have an undeniable scientific relevance in the national and international agenda.
However, the space devoted to the exhibitions is extremely limited: the collections of the Zoology and compared Anatomy, Geology and Paleontology, Mineralology and Petrografy museums, closed to the public since the end of the Second World War, occupied almost completely the first floor of the buildings in Via Volta and in Via Santa Maria, and a part of the spaces of the cloister of Santa Croce in Fossabanda.
By the end of the ’70, after the Carthusian Monastery of Pisa had been abandoned by the monk, professor Ezio Tongiorgi worked towards trying to have the prestigious monumental complex entrusted in perpetual free use to the University, so that it could be used to host the Natural History Museum, of which Tongiorgi cured the set up and the transport and of which he was director from 1977 to 1985.
This is how the Natural History Museum of the University of Pisa was born. Besides the wealth of its collection, the Museum finds its distinctive trait and its allure in its position in a building of such a huge historic-artistic value, making it, as a matter of fact, completely unique.
Extremely impressive is the Cetacean Gallery: over thirty skeletons exposed in an ancient loggia, nowadays closed with big glass wall who allow the visitor to see the Monte Pisano’s landscape as well as the relics.