Today the Diocesan Museum is housed in fifteen rooms of the Archbishop’s Palace, which stands opposite the main façade of the Cathedral.
Traces of the original fifteenth-century palazzo survive in the splendid Gothic triple lancet window on the corner of Via Matteo Bonello and Corso Vittorio Emanuele, and in the Gothic Catalan portal. The sumptuous main rooms of the piano nobile were frescoed by Guglielmo Borremans and Gaspare Fumagalli, but many of the Baroque paintings were replaced with more contemporary ones during the nineteenth century.
The Museum was opened in 1927, and its layout rearranged several times during the course of the twentieth century. It’s currently arranged chronologically beginning in 1171 with the panel of the Virgin Hodegetria, and ending in the eighteenth century.
The Museum is home to religious artworks and marble pieces (from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century) that date from the Cathedral prior to its Neoclassical reworking and from churches that have been demolished or deconsecrated.
The museum is currently being extended to incorporate other lavishly decorated rooms, such as the Sala Rossa, Sala Azzura, Alcova and Sala Borremans, bringing the total to 22 rooms.
Nel museo sono custodite opere d'arte sacra e arredi marmorei (dal Quattrocento al Settecento) provenienti dalla Cattedrale prima del rifacimento neoclassico e da chiese distrutte o sconsacrate. Sono in corso ampliamenti che comprenderanno altre sontuose sale come la Sala Rossa, la Sala Azzurra, l’Alcova e la Sala Borremans, per un totale di 22 ambienti.