About the Museum
The Opificio delle pietre dure is a central institution dependent on the Directorate General for Education and Research of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism. Opificio's operations and research activities are carried out in the field of restoration, maintenance of works of art and teaching of restoration. The diploma awarded by the Opificio is equivalent to the master's degree. The Opificio is, together with the Higher Institute for Conservation and Restoration, one of the most important and renowned institutes in the field of restoration, not only at national level but also internationally.
The organization's museum is housed in the rooms on the left of the entrance hall, which had been open since 1862 to the public in the form of "exhibition rooms". It collects some examples of works in semi-precious stones, including cabinets, table tops, plaques and various inlaid plates, with a vast repertoire of decorations, mostly with flowers, fruit and animals, but also with other pictorial scenes, among the such as a view of Piazza della Signoria. One object of recognition, in particular, is the large baroque fireplace, entirely covered with malachite, creating a dazzling green, with copies of paintings inlayed above, possessing a brightness and beauty sometimes greater than the original paintings on display next door.