History

 
 
The roots
The roots of the Science Museum mingle with the ancient collections of notable Trentino people who, in the late 1700's, enriched the historic-artistic museum in the town hall of the city with naturalistic objects. At the end of the 1800's, natural history collections were stored together with those of other kinds at the Thun palace, the current town hall. In 1922, the Museum of Natural History of Trento was founded, on the top floor of the building in Via Verdi, now home to the Faculty of Sociology of the University of Trento.
In 1964, the Tridentine Museum of Natural Sciences was established, administratively linked to the Autonomous Province of Trento. Since 1982, the museum moved to the via Calepina site, at the historic Sardagna palace.
 
The '90s
In 1992, the exhibition "The world of dinosaurs" brought in over 50,000 visitors within just two months of opening, attracting visitors not just from Trentino but also from further afield. The '90s marked a "new direction" with productions and interactive exhibits in the style of modern science centers and a new generation of researchers supported by European Community funding in the field of environmental research. The museum's new role in research was presented in 1997 with the exhibition "The Museum studies the Alps". In 2000, the exhibition "The Deluge" revealed a conception change, based on interaction and experimentation and a solid educational program.
 
The regional centres
The museum expanded encompassing other connected centers located around Trentino in places of high natural and touristic interest: these include the historic Viote Alpine Botanical Garden, the adjacent Star Terrace, the Stilt House Museum on the Ledro Lake, the Gianni Caproni Museum, the Geological Museum of the Dolomites in Predazzo, and the Lake Tovel Limnological Station.
 
Project MUSE
Inevitably, increasing activities and temporary initiatives led to the overcrowding of equipment and installations. The beginning of the millennium was a period marked by lacking space and perspective. The time was right for the MUSE Science Museum project. Thus, in 2002-2003, the Museum carried out the “Feasibility Study for a new science museum in Trentino” on behalf of the Department of Cultural Activities of the Autonomous Province of Trento and, in 2005, as part of the following cultural strategy.

More than fifty qualified national and international experts were involved in the preparation of these documents and many citizens contributed to defining their contents in various focus groups and opportunities for debate. Approved by the provincial government in 2006, the project was transformed into an architectural plan and entrusted to Renzo Piano, who designed the building and acted as artistic director for the stands. On the 27th of July 2013, the new MUSE Science Museum opened to the public in its new headquarters, located in the urban redevelopment borough Le Albere.
 
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