“Training for building strong links between museum professionals and the local community”, is the title of the training action organised and hosted recently by the European Network of Museums NEMO-Network in Sibiu, Romania, with the Helmi Museum of Natural History in Zakynthos as an honorary member. As an echo of the action, the NEMO member museums partnered with local communities (moving towards a unified cultural management, leadership and diplomacy by museums dealing with biodiversity and traditional art forms for the benefit of society).

In particular, from 23 to 25 May 2024, 10 museum professionals from the Balkans travelled to Sibiu, Romania to participate in a 3-day interactive workshop: participants came from Estonia, Germany, Spain, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Lithuania, Romania, Hungary. From Greece, the President of Helmi’s Natural History Museum, Museologist K. Stupathis, presenting and exposing various issues of European synergies and cultural management identified in Greece. The problems concerning vulnerable groups of the public, the challenges of the new museology, the mission of ethnographic, historical and natural history museums to cope with the modern challenges, the climate crisis and the economic hardship that affects both the environment and culture.

Aiming much more at the response of local communities, citizens living in rural and urban areas by implementing cultural, educational programmes or insitu actions (in order to pass on to young people the traditional forms of craftsmanship and their personal narratives that tend to be lost in time).

In addition to new lessons, fruitful exchanges of views and the group’s visits to local monuments and museums in the historic city of Sibiu, participants benefited from social networking and opportunities to exchange cross-border partnerships. Workshops and guided tours were held at the Brukenthal Museum or the House of Arts, learning about the newest cultural business model of the ASTRA Museum: a “creative hub where the crafts of the past, present and future can bring this renovated historical monument to life”. The afternoon of 25/5/24 was offered for a guided tour of the National Brukenthal Museum, founded in the late 18th century by Samuel von Brukenthal (1721-1803) housing public and private art collections. On the last day of the programme, the participants became familiar with the cultural landscape and cultural activities in the village of Arpașu de Jos, with visits to churches and sites that work for the benefit of society and intangible cultural heritage.

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