Located in the portico on the ground floor of the 18th-century Hotel delle Arti, Palazzo dei Musei, now the Museo Lapidario Estense
, was established in 1828 by Francesco IV of Austria-Este. Here were gathered the testimonies of Epigraphic and historical interest-the city's artistic and Ducal territory to form the first City Museum and educational purposes of exploitation. For this purpose, works from the collections Este catalizzarono other donations and acquisitions.
The most important nucleus of the Estense Epigraphic is represented by the imposing Imperial Roman sarcophagi moved from the courtyard of the Cathedral, where Canonical lay in the late 17th century, and which still constitute the most conspicuous of such artifacts in all of Emilia-Romagna. The important Roman section together seamlessly the monuments of medieval and Renaissance section documenting the reuse of ancient sarcophagi and subsequent revivals and imitations. This last section documents the Modenese illustrious personalities belonging to the nearest to us history.