For more than a thousand years, the Doge’s Palace had been the heart and symbol of political life and public administration within the Venetian Republic. Hence when that Republic fell in 1797, its role inevitably changed. Venice was subjected first to French rule, then to Austrian, and ultimately (in 1866) became part of a united Italy. Over this period the Palace was occupied by various administrative offices as well as housing the Biblioteca Marciana (from 1811 to 1904) and other important cultural institutions within the city. By the end of the nineteenth century the structure was showing clear signs of decay, and the Italian government set aside sizeable funds for extensive restoration. It was then that many of the original capitals of the fourteenth-century arcade were removed and substituted; the restored originals now forming the core of the collection in the Museo dell'Opera. What is more, all the public offices occupying the building were moved elsewhere, with the exception of the State Office for the Protection of Historical Monuments, which is still housed in the building under its modern title of the Superintendence for the Environmental and Architectural Heritage of Venice and its Lagoon. In 1923 the Italian State, the owner of the building, appointed the Venice City Council to manage it as a museum open to the public. Since 1996 the Doge’s Palace has been part of the network of museums that comes under the management of the Venice Museum Authority.