A stone's throw away from the Piazza Navona sits one of the most charming, yet least visited, museums in Rome. The Museo Barracco, a beautifully curated and choice collection of Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek and Roman sculpture, is housed in the so-called Piccola Farnesina or Farnesina ai Baullari. The collection was amassed over the course of half a century by Baron Giovanni Barracco, who, in 1902, bequeathed it to the city of Rome.
The palace in which the collection is housed has nothing to do with the Baron, but was built in 1523 for Thomas Le Roy, a French prelate and an official at the papal court. For his services to the court, he was ennobled and also entitled to augment his coat of arms with the royal lilies of France. This heraldic privilege is recorded in architectural details throughout the palace.
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