The museum was built after the restorations of the monumental complex of St. Stefano at the end of 19th century when arose the problem of where to collocate the devotional objects which after the restoration of the monumental complex hadn’t an appropriate place no more. The ancient Refectory of the Benedictine monastery was used as seat of the museum. When the Benedictine Olivetan monks took possession of the monastery the museum was moved above the ancient church of the Martyrium, and it remained there until 1980 when the artistic material was moved to the ground floor of the ancient sacristy adjacent to the Cloister. The museum is made up of two rooms for a total of 150 meters of expository area. In the first room, that is in the 17th-century Chapel of the Benda, preserves works of Jacopo di Paolo, Vitale from Bologna, Lippo di Dalmasio, Simone Dè Crocifissi (such as the tempera-painting "Crucifixion and four Saints"), of Michele and Matteo and an oil on table representing the "Madonna with the baby and St. Giovannino" attributed to Innocenzo from Imola (16th century). The second room, which holds the 17th-century Chaple of Benda, conserves shrines (such as that one of St. Petronius’ head, a wonderful jeweller’s work of Jacopo Roseto made in 1380, and that one of the “Benda of the Virgin” of 1626), statues, bas-reliefs and canvas of 17th and 18th century (such as the "SS. Trinity" of Orazio Semacchini and "St. Martino resurrects the widow’s son" of Alessandro Tiarini); besides, a 13th-century fresco with the "Massacre of the Innocents" of Borlinghiero from Lucca that was part of the cycle which in origin covered the entire dome of the Sepulchre.
ST. BOVO In the museum is preserved the wooden sculpture representing a male image difficult to identify. The work, dates to 13th and 14th century, after the recent restoring is a unique block (an oak-wood trunk) with the only addiction of the forearm that sustains the banner. Exactly from the banner representing an ox we can deduce that it concerns the features of St. Bovo, who is better known as St. Bonomio: Benedictine monk who had once lived in St. Stefano.
Part of the description is taken from the book: "Museums of Bologna", Province of Bologna, Culture