University of Catania
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Lorenzo Bianchi Museum of Human Biology and Anatomy

Tavola anatomica
Via Santa Sofia 89 - 95123 Catania

Scientific Coordinator: prof. Giuseppe Musumeci

At present, the Lorenzo Bianchi Museum houses the nineteenth-century atlas Anatomia Universa of Paolo Mascagni, consisting of a series of anatomical plates numbering among the most monumental works ever published. The anatomical plates from 1800 are extraordinary in terms of accuracy and richness of details: an exceedingly rare human-sized folio.

Prof. Passaponti tracked down these plates in the 60s inside the basement of the ancient anatomical amphitheatre located at the Ingrassia Palace in Via Biblioteca. As valuable works of art, his predecessors had hidden them lest they be stolen during the Second World War.

On display are both the black and white realization of the anatomical plates as well as a hand-coloured version of it by different authors and several other anatomical volumes from 1700 to present day. The Prodrome of the Great Anatomy is the second work of Paolo Mascagni, posthumously published by Francesco Antommarchi in 1800.

More than 700 skulls from various eras follow on, 4 skeletons of various eras and sizes, small-sized skeletons in anatomical connection, the skeleton of a man who lived 2,300 years ago from the necropolis of Naxos and about 1,000 disarticulated human bones. Anatomical specimens by means of resin or in dry preparation, various organs and anatomical apparatuses along with the making of specimens by fixative chemicals, anatomical instruments of various types and nature, a collection of ancient optical microscopes, scales, anatomical models made of wax and ceramics, they all form part of Lorenzo Bianchi museum’s collection.

Some of these belong to the BIOMETEC Department (Biology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Pathology, Microbiology, Medical Genetics and Biochemistry).

Information and Admission

Temporarily closed to the public