The Doge's Palace has been restructured and modified several times over its centuries long existence. In fact, before 1876, there was barely any moment when there was no work underway in the building, mostly due to structural failures, new organizational requirements, fire and other reasons. During the Middle Ages, a 'technical office' was put in charge of all the renovation work and management of workers and their sites. Due to excessive decay, a major renovation plan was launched in 1876 and involved the two facades and the capitals in the ground floor arcade and the upper loggia. During this renovation, 42 Venetian sculptures, which were in an extremely dilapidated state, were replaced by copies. The originals, many of which were masterpieces of Venetian sculpture of the 14th and 15th century were placed in an area designed for this specific purpose; the Museo dell'Opera. The present version of the Museo dell'Opera underwent thorough restoration work and now exhibits the sculptures on their original columns in six different rooms of the museum. Apart from the sculptures, the museum also features fragments of statues and significant architectural and decorative elements in stone, which were a part of the Palace's original facade.
Highlights of the Museum
The Museo dell'Opera has six rooms, each housing a different number of capitals. Here's a detailed look at each room and what you can expect to see there.