Museum history


When it reopened to the public on 19 March 2011, the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile was dedicated to Avvocato Giovanni Agnelli. This decision was taken by the Board of Directors following Fiat’s becoming a partner in the Museum. It was a mark of recognition of everything the Avvocato had done in the past to support the Museum.

The Congress Centre on the first floor and the Lecture Room on the ground floor were named after the founder Carlo Biscaretti di Ruffia.

The link between Avvocato Agnelli and the Museum went back to the end of the ‘50s when the Avvocato was Chairman of the Italia ‘61 Committee and worked on bringing together a group of backers (the car and tyre companies, the oil companies, the city banks, national bodies and associations) who would guarantee economic support for the construction of the premises of the Museum in corso Unità d’Italia.

On 22 February 1957 the Museo dell’Automobile was set up by notarial deed and legally recognised by decree of the President of the Republic that same year (it would be recognised as an Association in 1992). Carlo Biscaretti was appointed the Museum’s first President and on his death on 7 September 1959, Avvocato Agnelli, then Vice President, proposed to the Board that the Museum be named after Biscaretti who had dedicated so much of his life to its creation.

That was how it all began. Avvocato Agnelli occupied the position of Vice President from 1957 to 1981, his presence was always important for the Museum for the contributions he was able to make to operations until 2003; for the donation of prestigious cars like the Mercedes Benz 500 K of 1936 and the Baby Bugatti of 1927 (a toy reproduction of the Type 35); and for the international character he was able to give the Museum thanks to his worldwide contacts.

In the entrance hall of the Museum there is a plate dedicated to Avvocato Agnelli and the original plate for the inauguration of 1960 with the bust of Carlo Biscaretti has been reproduced.