Renovation is any intervention aimed at bringing a product of human activity back to efficiency 

Cesare Brandi

On 24th May 2012 the MuSA opened its doors following an industrial archeology intervention started in 2007 that saw the inter-institutional collaboration of several partner agencies committed to returning this location-laboratory, this symbol of man’s activity and creativity that are the very expression of Pietrasanta, to its territory.

Part of the larger real estate complex known as “ex Luisi” erected at the beginning of the 20th century to house an artistic marble laboratory employing over one hundred people between craftsmen, sculptors and stone cutters, the headquarters of the MuSA are a former artisan warehouse that closes the north side of the courtyard containing the “ex Luisi”.

In the 1970s, the Associazione Industriali of the Province of Lucca bought the entire premises which were then subjected to several redevelopment interventions aimed at renewing their intended use. Following this, at the beginning of the ’80s the buildings housed the offices of the Associazione Industriali and later also those of the Consorzio Cosmave, the laboratories of the Accademia delle Belle Arti di Carrara, the info desk of the Confartigianato crafts federation and, in more recent times, also the Scuola Edile school for building and construction workers, Lucca’s CPT center for education and the Cassa Edile Lucchese agency.

The birth of the MuSA is part of this framework of events. A 1,000,000-euro renovation and technical organization project by the Chamber of Commerce of Lucca between 2007 and 2010 thanks to the support of the Regione Toscana department (funds from the Patto per lo Sviluppo – Area 6 – Distretto lapideo project) and of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca. Objective of the renovation that entailed work on the last two buildings used for craft activities of the “ex-Luisi” complex, was to endow the territory with a state-of-the-art multimedia space featuring innovative and interactive IT equipment at the service of the communication of the marble process supply chain and all its connected industries and activities.

In 2009, following an agreement between the Province of Lucca and Lucca InTec – a company of the Chamber of Commerce of Lucca – works began. Renovation respected the existing structure without bringing radical modifications to it, using mainly glass and marble so as to leave its architectural characteristics unaltered. But at the same time, it added elements and systems that could ensure energy savings and limit environmental impact.

Today the MuSA is a place dedicated to promoting industrial and craft companies of the Apuan-Versilia area involved in the quarrying, production and processing of marble. But it is also at the service of the nautical industry and the paper and shoe making industries, driving forces of the local economy.

Its physical location in the city of Pietrasanta and the uncertain boundaries between the processing of marble, architecture, design, innovation, artistic craftsmanship, culture, art and photography make the MuSA a space that moves in close synergy with the city itself and with the numerous initiatives that each season animate it and make it a reference point for national and international artists and professionals.