The History

The Barsanti and Matteucci Foundation was officially established in Lucca on June 4, 2003.

Right from the start, he worked to re-evaluate the work of the two scientists from Lucca, starting from the promising results already obtained within the “Events Committee in honor of Barsanti and Matteucci for the 150th anniversary of the invention of the internal combustion engine“.

Thus it began the collection and analysis of documents useful for retracing the life and works of Barsanti and Matteucci, most of which are preserved at the Ximenian Observatory in Florence; this made it possible to elaborate a proven framework of the studies and experiments they carried out, of the results achieved, of the awards obtained.

On this basis, an intense work of dissemination of the documentation found was initiated, starting from one of the most important museums in the world, the Deutsches Museum in Munich, and subsequently to other museums and to the European Community, aimed at the recognition and attribution of the paternity of the invention of the first internal combustion engine to the two scientists from Lucca.

The first success of the initiatives was achieved in Munich, where, in 2004, a plate was displayed stating that the first three-stroke internal combustion engine had been invented by Barsanti and Matteucci in 1853. It was subsequently exhibited, in the same museum, a full-scale model of the engine, created by the Foundation, and many other awards were obtained from important international organizations.

Subsequently, the commitment of the Foundation was dedicated to the dissemination of the awards obtained and to the construction of different models of the engines developed by Barsanti and Matteucci: some of these were donated to Italian and foreign museums, while the models of six different engines are remained in the possession of the Foundation.

On 25 September 2013, the Barsanti and Matteucci engine museum was inaugurated, located in the Antica Loggetta dei Guinigi in Lucca, where copies of the documents illustrating the activities of the two inventors are collected and the moving models of the engines are exhibited.

The museum layout was renovated in 2021.


The following were Presidents of the Foundation:

  • Eng. Pierluigi Lazzerini, from 2003 to 2016
  • Professor Giacomo Ricci, from 2016 to 2021
  • Prof. Eng. Maria Luisa Beconcini, from 2021