The Collection of Plaster Casts and Antiquities of the University of Pisa, one of the first in Italy, began in 1887 by Gherardo Ghirardini, inspired by the model of Germanic archaeology. Today, the collection offers a synthesis of the most famous and significant pieces, from the Greek to Etruscan and Roman periods, together with lesser-known or unknown pieces and small plastic artifacts. These are faithful reproductions of classical pieces, located in various national and foreign museums, or sometimes lost and, also, particular versions resulting from historical restorations or special projects of reconstruction made in Pisa with the aim of giving a newer interpretation of famous works of art. The Collection now also hosts a classic archaeology Antiquarium and the Palethnological Collections.
The Collection of Plaster Casts and Antiquities is now housed in the church of S. Paolo all’Orto, which is closed for worship.
The Museums of the University of Pisa is a network of nine structures in addition to the Natural History Museum which is located in Calci, a few kilometers from Pisa.