Pio-Clementino Museum in Vatican

The Pio-Clementino Museum is housed in the Belvedere Palace. It was created by Popes Clement XIV in 1769 and completed by Pope Pius VI. Consequently, the museum was named after them. Most valuable Roman and Greek sculptures are stored at the museum.

At first, there were few sculptures and the most valuable of them were put in the niches of the inner court. Here are these sculptures:

The niche of Laocoon. The marble sculpture group «Laocoon and His Sons» created by Rhodian sculptors in I century A.D. is in the niche. In 1506 the fragments of the sculpture group were found within the Golden House of Nero and restored by Michelangelo.

The niche of Canova. A replica of the sculpture Perseus isin the niche. The original sculpture was destroyed by the soldiers of Napoleon. Antonio Canova created its replica by the order of Pope Pius VI in 1800.

The niche of Apollo. Perhaps, the most famous sculpture of the Vatican Museums, Apollo of Belvedere, is in the niche. It is a marble Roman replica (130 A.D.) of the original bronze sculpture of Athenian sculptor Leochares (4 century B.C.). The sculpture has been stored at the Vatican Museum since 1509.

The niche of Hermes. In this niche you can see a Roman replica of the ancient Greek sculpture of Hermes, which was created by Praxiteles in 4 century B.C. and was kept at the Sacred Olimpia. The Roman replica of the sculpture was found near the Castle of the Holy Angel.

Apart from these four niches with sculptures, the Pio-Clementino Museum has the Hall of Animals, where ancient sculptures of animals are stored, and the Gallery of Statues. In the latter you can see ancient statues. The Rotunda was built in 1780. In the middle of the hall there was installed a giant porphyry cup (13 м) from the Golden House of Nero. It is surrounded by niches with 18 statues of ancient Roman and Greek gods. And, finally, in the Hall of Greek Cross you can see porphyry sarcophagi and ancient Roman mosaics.