The space - which until recently housed the offices of the Superintendent of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape - will soon be used to display contemporary artworks and archaeological remains and host concerts, debates and international congresses.

The Superintendent’s offices have been transferred to the monumental complex of Santa Chiara, which has also just been restored.

The combined restoration project cost a total of €8 million.

The new space is set to make the Svevo (Swabian) Castle a strong competitor to Castel del Monte, a World Heritage Site in the nearby town of Andria and currently the number two tourist attraction in Puglia despite its limited space.

“We will offer more culture and, with the opening of a second floor, we aim to double visitor numbers,” Svevo Castle director Rosa Mezzina said.

However, eight surveillance staff members need to be assigned to the new rooms before they can open and the space must first come under the formal auspices of the Pugliese museum network, which will organise the cultural initiatives there.

These initiatives include an exhibition of works from the collection of local collector Angelo Baldassarre, centring on work from the 1960s and 1970s by American artists including Joe Baldessari, Robert Barry, Mel Bochner, Bruce Boice, Donald Judd, Joseph Kosuth, Sol Lewitt, Robert Mangold, Bruce Neumann, Richard Tuttle and Andy Warhol.

Smaller rooms already contain permanent displays of pottery uncovered during excavations at the castle, stonemasonry including capitals and sculptures, coins, jewellery and fabrics.

The ground floor, which is already a museum space, currently hosts an exhibition on the Italian tenor Tito Schipa.