Capoliveri Sea Museum

Sea Museum in Capoliveri and the wreck of the Polluce

The Sea Museum in Capoliveri was inaugurated in April 2014 and is located under the town square, in via Palestro. The treasure found in the sea of ​​the Island of Elba, inside the wreck of Pollux.

The shipwreck of the steamship

Part of the treasure found in the wreck of the Pollux exhibited at the Maritime Museum in Capoliveri, Elba Island

The treasure tells the story of the shipwreck of the steamship, built in France in 1839 and sunk on 17 June 1841 off the coast of Capo Calvo, in the waters of Capoliveri. The exhibition at the Museo del Mare is curated by the Superintendency for the Archaeological Heritage of Tuscany and by the Municipality of Capoliveri.

The museum was born with the discovery of the treasure in the sea of ​​the island

Part of the treasure found in the Pollux wreck

A French vessel wrecked during the nineteenth century in the seas surrounding the island of Elba, a story made of precious jewels, gems, and ancient coins found on board a steamship. Submerged and expertly recovered treasures that today tell all their incredible adventures in this small Sea Museum in the heart of the historic center of Capoliveri.

The shipwreck of 1841 in the sea of ​​the island, exhibited at the Museum

Some coins found in the Pollux wreck

In the accident all the ship’s cargo was lost; the owner of the Polluce, the famous Genoese shipowner Raffaele Rubattino, attempted to recover the precious finds of the ship, but failed in the undertaking.
In 2000 some English treasure hunters managed to bring to light part of the sunken treasure with a scam: under the pretext of wanting to recover the wreck of an English merchant ship sunk during the First World War, the “Glean Logan”, and by providing those of the Pollux wreck as coordinates, they manage to obtain a permit to search for the wreck and to appropriate of a part of the sunken treasure. Fortunately, the treasure was recovered and exhibited at the Maritime Museum, before being auctioned on the English market. Subsequently, in October 2005, the recovery of the treasures that remained submerged was completed.

The Sea Museum and the treasure found on the Island of Elba

The Maritime Museum preserves inside the precious cargo of the wreck of the Pollux, which was lost following the shipwreck of 1841 and recovered between 2000 and 2005. Inside the rooms of the museum it is therefore possible to admire the magnificent and precious finds that they were on board the vessel. These are on-board documents, letters and goods of various kinds, but also many objects of the time for daily use, such as: table furnishings, cabin furnishings and on-board objects.
Along with all these objects it is Also on display was the true “treasure” of the Pollux, the large load of gold and silver coins that was on board the steamer together with wonderful gold jewels, necklaces and small porcelain statues.

Accessibility to the Museum

The Sea Museum has an entrance suitable for people with disabilities and inside there are no further architectural barriers.
The museum has audio guides in various languages ​​but the texts on the panels are only in Italian.
The museum’s explanatory video does not have subtitles even in English.

How to reach the Sea Museum in Capoliveri

Sea Museum in Capoliveri, Elba Island

The building that houses the Maritime Museum is located under the central square of Capoliveri (piazza Matteotti), and can be reached from the ancient Via Palestro.


Services at the Sea Museum

The Sea Museum constantly organizes educational activities of various kinds and workshops.

Contact details

Museum webpage on caput-liberum

+39 0565 967029 , +39 3939059583 , +39 3938720018