The Opificio delle Pietre Dure is a central institute dependent on the General Directorate of Education and Research of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism.
Founded in 1588 at the behest of Grand Duke Ferdinando I de' Medici, the institute is today divided into sectors that correspond to the different materials of which the works of art are composed. It is also the seat of an advanced training and study school, a museum and a library highly specialized in the restoration sector. In particular, the museum attached to the Opificio is today a modern centre specialised in restoration and in the direct subsidiary of the artistic manufactory characterised by the working of semi-precious stones.
The operational and research activities of the Opificio are carried out in the field of restoration, the maintenance of works of art and the teaching of restoration. The diploma awarded by the Opificio is equivalent to a master's degree; in this regard it is considered one of the most important and renowned institutes in the field of restoration at national and international level.