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Heritage actions during EYCH2018, through citizen involvement in the promotion of museums in Magnesia, Greece


Terms of reuse
CC BY 2.0

Type of best practice
Cooperation between Museums and Heritage sites

archaeology, museum, community


The Association ‘Friends of Athanasakio Arheological Museum of Volos’ during the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 (EYCH2018) aimed to contribute to the initiative on ‘Tourism and heritage’ by involving the local host community to inform visitors. A Conference dedicated to EYCH2018, entitled "Friends of the Museums in Modern Museum Practice, Modernity and Reflections in the European and International Space", highlighted how culture can be linked to Tourism, promoting it, and giving it a particular qualitative dimension: Tourism can become one of the most powerful tools for the dissemination and promotion of the rich and world-class European cultural heritage.

Organisation in charge of best practice
‘Friends of Athanasakio Arheological Museum of Volos’

Volos, Greece

2015 ongoing


The Association ‘Friends of Athanasakio Arheologicam Museum of Volos and archeological sites of Magnesia and Northern Sporades islands’ was founded in June 2015 in order to become the link of the Museum with the society and through its actions to mobilize the citizens and visitors to show interest culture and heritage. The Association seeks to support the research, educational, exhibition, cultural and publishing activities of the Museum in order to promote the ancient, Byzantine and modern cultural heritage of Volos and the Province of Magnesia in order to sensitize the visitors of the region to history and art. The Athanassakeio Archaeological Museum of Volos was built in 1909 and was donated to the Greek State by Alexios Athanassakis, a benefactor from Mt. Pelion, in order to exhibit the painted funerary stelae of ancient Demetrias found in re-use as a building material in the city’s wall towers. In 2004 the Museum was renovated. The exhibition of the old wing was renewed and expanded to a new wing as an additional exhibiting space, which was inaugurated in 2009. The Museum’s galleries display finds from archaeological excavations in Thessaly since the beginning of the 20th century. The archaeological collections are represented thematically according to contemporary museological perceptions and practices. The Association has been very active during the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 (EYCH2018) aiming to contribute to the initiative on ‘Tourism and heritage: promoting sustainable cultural tourism’ by involving the local host community to inform visitors. A Panhellenic Conference was held in Volos, dedicated to EYCH2018, with the participation of all the Friends of the Museums, entitled "Friends of the Museums in Modern Museum

Practice, Modernity and Reflections in the European and International Space" co- organized with the Hellenic Federation of Friends of Museums and the, at the proposal of

the Association. This conference was held under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Sport and the Region of Thessaly and took place on 5, 6 and 7 October 2018 at Valis Hotel in Agria, Volos. The conference was attended by the honorable metropolitan of Dimitriados, the Regional Governor of Thessaly, deputies of the prefecture and mayors and municipal councilors representatives of cultural and tourism organizations, the President of the Hellenic Association of Friends of Museum Associations, vice president of ICOM, and a host of world-wide friends, simple people who love culture and teachers of our local society. Friends of the Museums from 48 museums in Greece, were among them. The purpose of the Conference was to provide two-way communication between civil society, museums and cultural operators in general. The acquaintance and the relations of the Associations, Unions, Associations, Friends of the Museums, the exchange of opinions, suggestions and good practices, as well as their applicability, within the new spirit of modernity that appears in the Museum of the Future. Museum friends listen to the modern trends and demands, through the synergies with the "World Federation of Friends of the Museums" so as to be able to assist, in the new circumstances and the new role, Museums in their relations with the general public and the newly formed society.

At the same time, the Conference was an excellent opportunity for all Friends of Museums to join a cultural and entertainment visit of the local archeological and cultural wealth the Neolithic Settlements of Diminio and Sesklo, the Ancient Theater and the Palace of Ancient Demetrias.

The aim of the conference was to highlight synergies of culture and tourism, to be a very substantial, successful and creative meeting of civil society for culture, the excellent institution of Friends of the Museums. Our cultural assets must be fully exploited even in the crisis. It is our duty to preserve, save and disseminate our cultural heritage to the new generations. Our culture could at the same time be a very powerful economic factor for our country. In any case, it takes hard work, organization, projection, and proper training. Education is the basis of all. Each of us therefore has to "fight" separately through each body (public, private, club, cultural association, etc.) so that cultural wealth can be saved and exploited in the best way - and for the benefit of society and our economy.

The invaluable treasures of our cultural heritage are also associated with the much- needed development of our country and region, as our rich cultural reserve could be a

very powerful economic factor. Our culture can be linked to Tourism, promoting it, and at the same time giving it a particular qualitative dimension. On the other hand, tourism can become one of the most powerful tools for the dissemination and promotion of the rich and world-class cultural heritage. Today's challenge is to find ways to consolidate the positive achievements, positive messages and to "communicate" our own unique identity abroad in a single and clear way to ensure in the long run a new position of our country in an international map, the complex web of international perceptions and stereotypes. The ultimate recipients of the promotion of our cultural heritage are the local community itself, we are all civil society for this reason and our sympathy is crucial to the success of our goals. That is why the conference was open to all citizens, members of the unions, students, teachers and all those who loved and wished to experience culture heritage. It is certain that we will have a lot to benefit from, offer to our Museums but mainly to get to know the Museums and the rich European cultural reserve of our homeland and, above all, the synergy of citizens and actors. We will be calling on relevant actors from different countries to participate, since we all have to get to know Europe's cultural heritage. The conference decided to set up a network of Museums of Magnesia and Thessaly with the aim of increasing the awareness of cultural goods, jointly taking initiatives and actions and jointly organizing events for the cultural development and culture of civil society through the acquaintance with our cultural heritage.


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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101004545.

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