Museums for ALL

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After the first meeting dedicated to barrier-free museums and to the blind people held in 2016 in Palermo at Palazzo Branciforte and GAM Gallery, a public panel conference “Museums for all: technologies for the free use of cultural heritage” was held on May 12, hosted by the Museum of Papyrus “Corrado Basile” at Siracusa, Italy.

In convention with the municipality of Siracusa the conference was focused on the theme of technologies for inclusion and accessibility to cultural heritage. The idea, was born according to the determination of Giovanni Taormina, the group coordinator of GruppoArte16, together with Professor Renato Tomasino, providing a series of interventions in addition to practical demonstrations of technological innovations already available, realized by StartUp ( EngiMark and In.Sight), VipSystem and the Orpheo multinational. Among the partners , the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo, the Euro-Mediterranean Institute of Science and Technology and ICOM for the Sicilian Regional District.

UWE is continuing its partnership with FILDIS Siracusa and other prestigious partners, including the Italian Ministry for Cultural and Environmental Heritage and Tourism, to organize and implement actions to integrating culture in the conception and practice of development with a view to advancing inclusive, equitable, and sustainable development. Among the main aims is to promote the integration of both able and disabled-bodied, especially woman within the challenging environment in all mainstream systems of society, including cultural experience and vocational training.

The forum explored the challenges, strategies, and opportunities for fostering diversity and inclusion in the art museum community.

The discussion featured:

  • Introduction: Anna Di Natale, Director of the International Museum of Papyrus “Corrado Basile”, Bernadette Lo Bianco, President of the “Sicily Tourism for All” and member of FILDIS Siracusa executive Board
  • Institutional Welcome: Anthony Barbagallo, Councilor for Tourism, Sports and Entertainment of the Sicilian Region, Francesco Italia, Vice Mayor, Councilor for Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Tourism, Performances, Unesco and Sporting Policies in Siracusa, Giuseppe Piccione, Chairman of the Siracusa 2750 Committee.
  • Panelist: Rosalba Panvini, Sebastiano Tusa, Elena Flavia Castagnino Berlinghieri, Laura Giarrè, Federica Fernadez, Ilenia Tinnirello, Mario Zito.

A prestigious Roundtable included the most influential figures in the field of cultural heritage: Rosalba Panvini (Superintendent of Cultural Heritage of Syracuse), Sebastiano Tusa (Superintendent of the Sea for Cultural Heritage of the Sicilian Region), Elena Flavia Castagnino Berlinghieri (Full Professor of Archaeology, European Vice President of UWE, President FILDIS Siracusa), Laura Giarrè (Full professor of the Department of Engineering of E. Ferrari of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia), Federica Fernadez (Director of the Interdepartmental Center for Nanotechnologies and Innovative Materials for the Health, architecture and cultural heritage of I.ME.ST), Ilenia Tinnirello (Associate Professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Palermo) and Mario Zito (Director of the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo) .

Delivering her speech on the main challenges facing this field, UWE vice President Prof. Elena Flavia Castagnino Berlinghieri underlined the importance of cooperation and inclusion: ” promoting activities highlighting that ‘culture’ can be a powerful driver for growth, with community-wide social (without any distinction between gender or able-disable bodied) impact, as well as economic and environmental impacts”. She also stressed the contributions and efforts given by UWE and FILDIS to promoting intercultural dialogue to harness social cohesion thereby, creating an environment conducive to development. She also closed the speech by saying “the conference represents an important occasion for me from two points views: from one side, it will give me the chance to introduce my work as Archaeologist to the scientific community in the field of accessibility; from the other side, it will also give me the opportunity to underline the efforts given by FILDIS and UWE Associations in the protection of women’s rights and in the promotion of culture, ethics and legality against all forms of violence and discrimination, with particular attention to discomfort situations and the development of free sharing actions with capacity to engage and innovative awareness. I would like to remind to the audience that the first “Technical round-table” on the pregnant theme of this striking conference was promoted by FILDIS Siracusa in the 2012 in the context of “ART Conversations: Worship and Culture without Barriers” in conversation with the FILDIS member Prof. Bernadette Lo Bianco (November 6, 2012). In that circumstance, FILDIS Syracuse hosted one of the first work-oriented approach aimed at proposing solutions to achieve inclusion, accessibility and usability of Siracusa’s cultural heritage at 360 °. For this reason, in the 2012 conversation, members of the Institutions and experts from various professional fields took part in discussing how-when-why to overcome the physical and perceptual barriers (sensory and intellectual), respecting and safeguarding the architectural and artistic value of the same, as well as liturgical and protection needs. This important conference underscores this commitment and highlights how today’s institutional sensibility has matured to begin to look in a concrete and effective way in this specific area of hospitality. ”

Press release in Italian


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