Location of the initiative:
Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports / Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
Relation to Strategy 21 Recommendations:
Time span of the initiative:
Start date: April 2020 / End date: end of May 2020
Motivation / Methodology
The action was organized on the occasion of the ‘International Museum Day’ on May 18. However, the main motive of this initiative was our desire to keep in contact with the Museum’s visitors and friends throughout the unprecedented period of strict measures against the spread of the COVID-19 virus. For this reason, the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki (AMTh) organized this online action offering to people who had to "stay at home" the chance to learn from and interact with some of the most representative artefacts kept in the Museum. The basic aim was to provide to each individual the opportunity to open a direct “dialog” with the museum and its archaeological objects, in relation both to the past and to the present. Participants would come to realize ‒perhaps even to be surprised by‒ the fact that some objects may have changed in time regarding to their name, material, shape or use, but they still somehow remain the same or, to put it in other words, that “nothing has changed and nothing is as it used to be”. We chose some ancient artefacts from the collections of the AMTh and at regular intervals we uploaded them to the Museums’ social media. The online friends and visitors of the Museum had to look at their home for objects that looked like the ancient ones, photograph them and upload their photos to the Museums’ social media or send them via e-mail. These photographs were finally presented in a digital/online exhibition that contrasts ancient artefacts with look-alike modern-day objects and, therefore, antiquity to modern everyday life.
Obstacles / Barriers
There were no serious obstacles or barriers in the implementation of this online action, except for the need for a very good planning and coordination.
Change / Impact
Our initiative has achieved results mainly in the social sector as well as in the fields of knowledge and education. First of all, the final digital exhibition of this project was the result of a fully cooperative and interactive effort among the Museums’ staff and its online friends and ‘visitors’. Secondly, the participants in our online action had the chance to know about aspects of Greek ancient daily life in an amusing and creative way, while “staying at home”; they had the opportunity to expand their knowledge on ancient Greek civilization by making use of some of the most common and familiar to young people tools of communication, such as the internet, the social media, the mobile phone, a digital camera etc. Last but not least, for our Museum this initiative was a very good chance to better familiarize itself with the new technologies and social media, enhancing and improving the digital channel of communication with its friends and visitors. Thus, our Museum managed to have daily hundreds of ‘visitors’, while its doors remained hermetically closed!
Lessons learned from the experience of running this action relate to many different aspects and factors, such as:
Working in the public interest; one of our main motivations was to keep alive the citizens' interest in the Museum and to encourage their participation in an interesting and creative activity during their stay at home.
Building relationships; during this action, the Museum made hundreds of new friends, people of different ages and places of origin. c) Flexibility; we have managed to adapt quickly and effectively to the new conditions imposed by the pandemic of COVID-19 virus, opening new ‘windows’ of communication in a museum with closed doors.
Contact person: Angeliki Koukouvou; Evangelia Tsangaraki
Organisation: Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
Email : [email protected]; [email protected];[email protected]
Phone: +30 2313310201
Source of financing