Museum exhibitions know no space limits

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The National Palace of Culture in Sofia hosted a round table themed Innovative Methods of Presentation of Cultural Heritage and Management of Museums in Bulgaria and the Western Balkans. The event is part of the programme of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

СнимкаWe live in dynamic times and we need to attract more audience to the museums, to reach the children and the young people and show the Bulgarian cultural heritage to the people with specific needs, Bulgaria’s Deputy Minister of Culture Amelia Gesheva said. Sometimes this is possible through the technologies. I sincerely hope that we will receive more interesting ideas on how we can modernize the content in the museums with regard to the way of their presentation. Our museums hold many treasures, but we should learn to present them better and make them more accessible to the visitors. The use of technologies will guarantee greater accessibility to our cultural heritage.

The first round table on this topic named Beyond Treasures-Contemporary Management of Museums in Bulgaria was held in March this year. Representatives of Bulgarian museums as well as guests from Albania and Macedonia also attended the second round table. Curator Councilor of the Museum of Macedonia in Skopje Gordan Nikolov presented the practices for partnership with private companies in his country. Albanian historian and curator of Site of Witness and Memory museum in Shkodër Pjerin Mirdita took part at the event. The museum is located in a building which was used as an investigation prison during the totalitarian regime (1945-1989). The exposition tells us about the dark reality during one of the most repressive and closed Stalinist regimes in Europe. Thanks to the new technologies the exhibition has attracted more visitors, mainly foreign nationals.

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The Bulgarian participants presented a series of projects during the round table. One of the biggest projects was developed by the Regional Museum of History in Shumen (Southeast Bulgaria). It accentuates on the national historical and architectural reserves in Pliska and Madara. Expert Michael Varbanov told us how the new technologies will allow the visitors to sink into the 3D reality within the walls of the ancient town of Pliska in the 8th and the 9th century AD, when the first Bulgarian capital was flourishing. 3D images of the most important exponents will be shown in seven exhibition halls of the regional historical museum. Visitors can also see panoramic and 360 degree photos of the popular Madara Rider (Madara Horseman) monument and other objects in Madara Reserve. 3D simulations will allow the visitors to participate in interactive experiments and meet ancient fortune-tellers for instance. Some of the production of this project will be offered in the form of mobile applications in online stores. It can be downloaded from all corners of the world.

The Hidden Secrets of the Black Sea exhibition is among the most impressive projects. It has been already displayed at the Marine Casino Cultural Center in Burgas and will be displayed in other Bulgarian cities and abroad. The exhibition presents 3D models of sunken ships, an interactive map of the Black Sea bottom, which shows the ship wrecks with information and video, as well as curious artefacts from antiquity. The vessels were reproduced the way they were found during the latest explorations of the sea bottom during the Black Sea Map project held between 2015 and 2018. Fifty five ships (the oldest one dates back to the 5th-4th century BC) and several sunken settlements are subject to explorations and studies.

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In fact this is the most expensive, the biggest and the most technological project ever made in the Black Sea, the head of the Marine Casino Cultural Center Lyudmila Kutieva told Radio Bulgaria.

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The technological renovation of the Bulgarian museums will continue. For the purpose we can rely on substantial financing, Deputy Minister Amelia Gesheva underlined. The money is allotted under the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism. EUR 5.4 million will be spent on new technologies, innovative content, conservation and restoration.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

Photos: The Regional Museum of History in Shumen and the Marine Casino Cultural Center in Burgas

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