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  • Ironworking machinery, former ILVA Ironworks Complex, Follonica.zoom in altra finestra
  • Machine for working iron, former ILVA Ironworks, Follonica.zoom in altra finestra

Museo del Ferro e della Ghisa [Museum of Iron and Cast Iron]

Founded in 1995, the Museum was born to save from destruction the artistic casts and wooden models still conserved in the Ilva factory in 1970 at the time the workshops closed; most of the machinery of the foundries had already been demolished. Housed in various locations, the exhibits were transferred to the final venue at the San Ferdinando Furnace in 1998.

The setup documents the local activity of artistic iron working and conserves Etruscan and nineteenth-century finds. The collection consists of work tools, wooden models for cast artworks and cast iron objects produced in the foundries of Follonica. It also includes an original Etruscan smelting furnace. More recently, it acquired a collection of work tools donated by local founders. It is flanked by a Media Library which conserves papers, drawings and a rich photograph collection, in addition to a small number of recorded oral testimonies about the factory’s history.

The Museum is within the perimeter of the ironworks, and part of a fascinating itinerary inside the area of the former Ilva factory. It presents picturesque evidence of the long iron period: the gate in wrought and cast iron, the guard houses, the grand duke’s building, the director’s building, workers’ lodgings, foundries nos. 1 and 2, the hydraulic tower, the San Ferdinando round furnace, the tank, the clock tower and the other buildings connected with the proper functioning of the large factory.


Texts by Graziano Magrini

English translation by Victor Beard

Last update 15/gen/2008