The imposing San Francesco complex is situated in Piazza Caprera, which was once the main town square. The Church had been the object of numerous renovations but, after the disbandment of the religious Orders in 1860, it gradually fell into a deplorable state of disrepair and, three years later, it was confiscated from the Franciscan friars and ownership was assigned to the Municipality. Decades of misuse, as well as periods of complete abandonment, meant that the building had suffered immense damage and most of its furnishings had been dispersed around the region. It was not until 1954 that restoration work began, but the first museum was opened, in 1957, thanks to the efforts of the young curator, Francesco Santi, author of the first catalogue of works which, with great difficulty, had been retrieved from other sites in the district.Further restructuring took place, in 1994, under the direction of the architect, Mario Manieri Elia, whose design created a more modern and rational setting for a museum. The Museum had to be closed in 1997, after the earthquake, but was reopened in 2003.Taken as a whole, the collection constitutes a highly important way point in the study of how Umbrian Art developed along the communication and cultural routes connecting the Central Umbrian Valley to the Marches. The structure was given its present-day form between 1494–1498 upon the completion of the work designed by Antonio di Pietro da Castelrotto, an architect from Lombardy. Previously, it had occupied a smaller area but, gradually, this was extended until it completely incorporated the adjacent Palazzo dei Priori. The interior forms one vast space measuring 25m. in length by 15m. in height and is divided into five sections by sturdy transversal, Gothic arches which were placed as support for the interior walls, while the outer walls were elevated, so as to amplify the pre-existing space in height and extension. It is typically Umbrian in style, with three large apsidal recesses. The cloister, which had been built at right angles to the Church and occupied part of the square, was demolished towards the end of the 19th century.