The Museum and the Flood

On November 4th, 1966, the Arno rose to two and a half meters above the ground at the entrance to Palazzo Castellani, submerging the exhibition rooms in the basement and ground floor, and causing extremely grave damage to the Galileo Museum (formerly the Institute and Museum of the History of Science).

Fifty years after Florence’s flood, the exhibition commemorates the event, highlighting, on one side, the dramatic impact it had on the Museum, and on the other, the rescue operations employed to save historical scientific instruments, carried out well thanks especially to the impassioned work of then-director Maria Luisa Righini Bonelli. Under her guidance, the flood transformed from a catastrophic event into an occasion to expand the exhibition spaces, rethink conservation criteria and presentation of the precious collection to the public, and to strengthen their international network with other museums and important scholars.