In 1861, the King of Italy announced the Malaspina Castle as the new seat of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Carrara. This event reversed the fate of the building that just few years before, during the years of the Restoration, had held citizens in lazar houses and prisons. The Academy was instituted by Elisa Baiocchi, the sister of Bonaparte and the Duchess of Lucca and Massa, in 1806.
Before revisiting its origins, we should recall the renovations it underwent during the 1900s. Following the earthquake in 1920, when a reconstructive restoration – much in style at the time – brought the medieval fortress back to life. This was followed in the 1950s with the rebuilding of the Palace of the Principe deiCybo, which was raised by one floor, distorting its perspective relations with the nearby castle.