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Il Lapidario, one of the oldest public museums in Europe, was established in 1714, thanks to the work of the Marquis Scipione Maffei, a well-known man of culture, of Veronese origin. The origin nucleus of the museum can be found in the small space between the old walls that join Piazza Bra with Castelvecchio, made up of thirty of the Nichesola family's roman marbles collected by the philharmonic academy and displayed in the courtyard opposite the building. Subsequently, Maffei, after obtaining permission from the Venetian state, increased the collection to over two hundred valuable marble statues. It is widely believed that the Marquis was not averse to robbing a few tombs in order to decorate the rooms of the museum.
Set up in 1973 this museum takes its name from the art historian Giovanni Battista Cavalcaselle. It conserves frescoes which have been removed from religious and state buildings in Verona since last century. On the upper floor, in the first room there is a display of a group of frescoes from 1180. They were found on a second layer in the votive chapel of the San Nazaro and San Celso. In the second room, there are displays of frescoes taken from Palazzo Guarienti ai Filippini. They contain allegorical scenes which are attributed to Paolo Farinati. Finally there is a third room in which there frescoes by Felice Brusasorci and Bernardino India. These came from the now demolished Palazzo Fiorio Della Seta.
This palace is best known for the modern and contemporary art gallery that it houses, 'Achille Forti' and more importantly, for certain historical events. The building was already in existence in the XIII century as its oldest part can confirm and it can therefore almost certainly be dated in this period named 'the wing of Ezzellino da Romano' after the tyrant Ezzellino III who governed Verona between 1232 and 1259. After his death, the palace underwent several architectural modifications, particularly during the Scaligera family's domination. The first took place in the 15th Century when the building was acquired by the Emilei family who made it into a residential palace. The second was during the 16th Century while the third took place in the 18th Century with the front of the palace being reworked by the architect Ignazio Pellegrini. The palace, where Nelson even stayed during his Italian campaign has been passed on through generations of the Emilei family up to the last descendant, the botanist Achille Forti who, in 1937, gave it to the local council. Thanks to his will, the palace has now become a museum of modern art.