Museo della Scultura Contemporanea Matera

MUSMA - Museum of Contemporary Sculpture Matera

Useful Information

Location: Palazzo Pomarici, Via San. Giacomo, Sasso Caveoso, 75100 Matera.
(40.66620073570342, 16.61226151124575)
Open: APR to SEP Tue-Sun 10-14, 16-20.
OCT to MAR Tue-Sun 10-14.
Fee: Adults EUR 7, Children (7-25) EUR 4, Children (0-6) free, Students EUR 4, Disabled free.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 4.
Classification: SubterraneaSubterranea Museum
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Museo della Scultura Contemporanea Matera, Palazzo Pomarici, Via San. Giacomo, Sasso Caveoso, 75100 Matera, Tel: +39-366-9357768. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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16th century Palazzo Pomarici constructed.
1697 building sold by Count Placido d'Affitto to Cesare Pomarici, a young patrician.
1952 building was deemed uninhabitable and evacuated and walled.
1958 non-profit culture society La Scaletta founded.
1978 first Grandi Mostre nei Sassi (Great Exhibitions in the Sassi).
1988 building part of an extraordinary maintenance and refurbishment project by the Ministry of Public Works and destined for the headquarters of the Zétema Foundation of Matera.
1992 beginning of restoration work.
1993 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
1996 restauration completed.
17-NOV-2005 assigned to the Zétema Foundation by the Municipality of Matera.
14-OCT-2006 museum inaugurated.


The Museo della Scultura Contemporanea Matera (Museum of Contemporary Sculpture Matera) or MUSMA is the most important Italian museum entirely dedicated to sculpture. It is located in the 16th century Palazzo Pomarici and in the artificial caves below. However, the claim that it is the only "cave" museum in the world is obviously wrong. We have listed dozens of subterranean museums and several are even sculpture exhibitions. Nevertheless the museum is quite impressive and definitely a must see if you are in Matera.

The museum started in 1978 with the famous art exhibitions of the non-profit culture society La Scaletta. The society was founded in 1958, but the idea of the Grandi Mostre nei Sassi (Great Exhibitions in the Sassi) was born in 1978. The first was an outdoor exhibition, in the Sassi and on the Murgic plateau, of large sculptures by Pietro Consagra. Half a dozen artist founded the Fronte dell'Arte and presented the Matera Charter in 1979 in Venice. Since 1987 the club has set up the exhibition of contemporary sculpture "The Great Exhibitions in the Sassi" in the Madonna delle Virtù and San Nicola dei Greci complex every summer. This broad portfolio of sculptors are the basement of the museum which was inaugurated on 14-OCT-2006. The works on display have been generously donated to the Zétema Foundation of Matera.

MUSMA illustrates the history of Italian and international sculpture from the late 1800s until today. The collection includes about 400 works including sculptures, ceramics, multiples, jewels, medals, drawings, engravings, and art books. The exhibition has two parts. The collection on the upper floor of Palazzo Pomarici develops a historical-chronological discourse of contemporary sculpture, from Medardo Rosso to the most recent avant-gardes. The underground rooms of the lower floor and the courtyards are dedicated to the combination of environment and sculpture.