Civic Museum “E. Ortolani”
On September 28, 2010, the Palace of Culture was inaugurated, after an accurate restoration (architect G. Greco, engineer F. La Rosa), in the ancient mansion of the Mastrogiovanni Tasca family. The multipurpose museum now houses useful evidence for the reconstruction of civic history. The collections include in large part the objects saved from dispersion and oblivion by cavaliere Egidio Ortolani Consentino (1889-1980) and his staff, which already formed the core of his private collection generously offered to the Municipality.
The ground floor and the piano nobile host archaeological finds attributable to Siculi, Siceliots, Romans, Byzantines, up to the Middle Ages, with architectural ruins, ceramics objects, clay artifacts, and epigraphic fragments. The Public Library was located in the mezzanine, already established in 1875 and named after the famous linguist Antonino Pagliaro. Its precious ancient collection was formed by the confluence of the books belonging to the Franciscan convents of the town, with incunabula and editions from the XVI to the XIX century. In the same premises, there is also a section of the Municipal Historical Archives, which represents an incomparable source not only for the history of Mistretta, but of the entire district.
In the halls of the piano nobile, in an itinerary introduced by the two nineteenth-century Gesanti (giant puppets that accompanied the statue of Our Lady of Light during the processions on 7-8 September), in addition to a conference room and multimedia workstations, there is also a remarkable art gallery, with paintings coming from the Capuchin convent, among which it stands out a Flagellation of Christ attributed to the Flemish Matthias Stom.
On the top floor, there are the museum deposits, a workshop, and rooms for the permanent exhibition of nineteenth-century instruments, evidence of the extraordinary tradition of the local Civic School of Music.