“Cultural tourism accounts for about 40% of global tourism traffic,” Culture and Sports Minister Lina Mendoni said from the podium of the Elexpo Forum last September. Mr. Vassilis Gakis, President of the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, spoke of a very large margin for development of cultural activities, observing the very small percentage as their economic footprint in the GDP of our country compared to other countries, and focusing on the need for a holistic and comprehensive promotion of the place.
Valentin Groebner, in his book ‘Retroland’ gives us impressive numbers: “The city of Lucerne today has a little more than 80,000 inhabitants, of which only a part lives in the old town. It is visited by 50,000,000 tourists every year “- in contrast to the new Acropolis Museum which is visited by 5,000,000 tourists per year.
It is easy to make calculations. Even the entire tourist population that visits our country every year to buy a ticket to visit museums, the financial footprint in relation to the cost of collections “which in the opinion of insurance companies is so large and unprotected that cannot be insured”, As well as the complete lack of local museums of local objects, have brought the oxymoronic image of hundreds of Greek public museums, receiving millions of investment programs aimed at the preservation of monuments and the aesthetic upgrade of spaces, while at the same time the operation of their marketing and public relations departments remains substandard.
An important initiative that clearly demonstrates the potential for cultural development and promotion of local products is that undertaken by the Organization for Management and Development of Cultural Resources ODAP, which, in the period 2020-2021, implemented a pilot program for olive harvest from Altea olives in Ancient Olympia and Ancient Ilida , with the aim of generalizing the program to other products derived from the flora found within the expropriated areas of the archeological sites, and which are interwoven with the mythology, history, religion of the area and the wider area. The produced product, apart from its inclusion in the agri-food chain, is also a cultural good with a distinct identity and special characteristics. In this case, the produced olive oil is available from the summer of 2021 in the shop of the new Archaeological Museum of Ancient Olympia, while it will soon be available in the shop of the National Archaeological Museum.
However, there is a significant lack of appropriate scientific staff for the management of the cultural stock on the part of the Municipalities – something that would mean protection of the intangible and material heritage from clumsy and opportunistic manipulations of partisan logic, but also a bright field for young scientists. to be active in the Region. The possibilities, scientific knowledge and know-how exist, as university departments and the private sector have developed strong scientific programs of cultural management, conservation, virtual tour, etc. to the extent that it is an exportable material both as a scientific object and as an applied collective support action. even in countries like Italy and China – one of the oldest cradles of civilization in the world.
Indeed, in terms of the preservation of monuments, a typical example of innovation is the original laser system developed by the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser (EIDL) of the Institute of Technology and Research (FORTH) of Crete used in the award-winning 15-year cleaning program of from the deposition of air pollutants, which was completed in June 2021.
A similar example is that of DNA Sequence SRL, a company that utilizes MBE (Metagenomis of Built Enviroments) technology, detects and monitors the microbial communities that have developed into works of art and archaeological finds – either due to inappropriate conditions or adverse environmental conditions -, with the aim of providing personalized, particularly valuable information for their protection and preservation.
The university departments of our country also have the potential to make a significant contribution to the upgrading of cultural management practices; of highlighting the whole spectrum of Greek culture. Some of the postgraduate programs in cultural management, museology and education that operate in Greece are the following: “Museology – Culture Management” and “Semiotics, Culture and Communication” at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, “Studies in Local History – Interdisciplinary Approaches at the University” Thrace, “Information Management in Libraries, Archives, Museums” at the University of West Attica, “Museum Studies” at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, “Cultural Analysis and Education” at the University of Crete, “Culture and Education” at Harokopio University, ” , Communication and Media “at Panteion University,” Digital Culture, Smart Cities, IoT and Advanced Digital Technologies “at the University of Piraeus, and” Monument Management: Archeology, City and Architecture “, an inter-institutional program of EKPA. , the University of Patras, and the University of the Aegean.
These fields are of course directly connected with specialized postgraduate programs in history and archeology, such as “Eastern Mediterranean Archeology from Prehistoric times to Late Antiquity: Greece, Egypt, Near East” and “Ancient Theater: Teachers and Teachers” Aegean, “Classical Archeology and Ancient History of Macedonia” at the International University of Greece, “Byzantine Studies and Latin East” and “Modern Greek Philology” at the University of Cyprus.
And finally, the postgraduate programs for the preservation of works of art and monuments could not be missing, such as the “Protection, Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Monuments” at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the “Preservation of Cultural Heritage” at the PADA. but for “Maintenance and Restoration of Historic Buildings and Ensembles” at the University of Cyprus.
It is therefore a fact that the above theoretical fields are highly developed at the academic level; therefore, the responsibility of utilizing know-how and qualified scientists for the upgrading of cultural management in our country now lies with the competent bodies. According to modern museological approaches, museums and archaeological sites should be more than just places of passive viewing of the relics of ancient civilizations: they should be places of education and active ‘conversation’ with the cultures of the past and tradition, and create links with the present, the local history and production of each region, and the modern culture in general.
Retroland – Ιστορικός τουρισμός και η αναζήτηση για το αυθεντικό
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