In 1998, the museum began restructuring, undergoing a radical overhaul in January 2000, that saw it being partially reopened to the public on December 21, 2007. As at December 22, 2013, the new sections of the museum exhibition devoted to the Roman city, the late antique and the early medieval city until the restructuring of the 11th century AD Byzantine were reopened to the public. In addition, the reopening saw an integration of new finds, inclusive of furniture, mosaics, funerary monuments, vases and plaster figurative paintings, all these available on the new rooms’ rich documentation of production and imports of Tarantino Roman and multifaceted city necropolis kits from the conquest of Quintus Fabius Maximus of 209 BC until the third century AD.
Renowned for being one of the finest national museums in Italy, its artifacts assembly is predating back when the city was colonized by the Dorians from Sparta. With close to two hundred thousand finds and artifacts ranging from Pre-history to the Middle Ages, the exhibition trail contains one of the most important archeological collections in Italy.
For anyone who fancies the Greek colonies of the Mediterranean, the new displays are definitely for you! Just as with several museums around the world, the National Archeological Museum of Taranto also includes in its collection the exquisite statue of Thot in the form of a baboon, one of the most renowned Egyptian Deities.
The museum’s elevated floor is used for temporary exhibitions and conferences whereas the first floor houses the Greek-Roman section innate in the Tarantino society. Moreover, the museum’s second floor houses the prehistoric section of the Paleolithic and Bronze Age that is inherent in the entire Apulian territory. In the very last room, there are funeral epigraphs put in place by Jews, Muslims, and Christians, documenting the differences in culture and religion by people present in Taranto between the 4th and 11th century AD. Without forgetting, the museum is also home to the incredible treasure of the Ori of Taranto, a true anthology of the Hellenistic goldsmith art!
Also, the museum’s beautiful stands showcase gold embellished with colored stones and glass pastes, Greek polychrome pottery, bones, ivory alongside imported stained glass which features burial crematorium of the imperial age. A new exhibition robe donated by Bishop Ricciardi to the museum and reserved for paintings is also present.
The section that is devoted to the city from late antique Byzantine age offers an extensive documentation of the mosaic pavements inclusive of public and private housing, along with geometric patterns and polychrome figurative and stratigraphic excavations of recent materials, all which have provided relevant data to the reconstruction of the historic center through historical ages.
With the reconstruction of antique environments of Paolo Quagliati alongside purchases and donations made to the museum, the history section of the museum has completely been renewed. Also, pots stolen from archeological sites in the Apulian territory and converged in foreign museums have since been returned and today available to public use in MARTA.