Piazza Episcopio, Poggiardo, (Lecce)
The Crypt was built around the year one thousand. In the fifteenth century it became neglected and fell into disuse. In the sixteenth century it was completely suppressed, following centuries of neglect. Then in 1929 during an excavation, the crypt was rediscovered by chance, freed from the fill material and restored. This regained its original appearance. However, the widespread and incurable dampness of the walls and the looming threat of mildew made it necessary to detach the frescoes, which were collected from their home and taken to the Central Institute of Restoration in Rome. Restored and presented at a series of exhibitions, the paintings returned to their homeland, in Poggiardo. Here they are found in a worthy place in a museum, created from the will of the Mayor Raffaele Pascarito, which is located in Villa Comunale in Piazza G. Episcopo and was opened on June 12th 1975. The crypt has finally been restored to its former glory thanks to the arrangements, in pristine sites, of artistic and durable copies of the original paintings, in retardant polystyrene. Today it is possible to admire the restored original frescoes, preserved in the modern museum of the Villa Comunale and visit the old crypt in Via Don Minzoni with excellent copies of the original paintings.