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The National Archaeological Museum contains an important collection of a Greek-Roman antiquities: statues, coins, cameos, ceramics, bronzes and gems. Besides this, it also contains an interesting collection of Egyptian and Assyrian-Babylonian antiquities, kept in the Civic Correr Museum. 

The museum, one of the oldest in Europe, was born from the remarkable collection of Greek originals donated by the Patriarch of Aquileia, Giovanni Grimaldi, to the Republic of Venice in 1587. It was opened in 1596 with about two hundred marble objects and was initially located in the vestibule of the Sansovino Library with the name ‘Museo Statuario della Repubblica’. 

In 1811 the Sculpture Museum was transferred to the Doge's Palace, together with the Libreria di San Marco, and dismembered: the statues and many decorative marbles were scattered throughout the Palace. However, the various pieces were gathered in the Doge’s apartment in 1846.

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