Roma Routes

The project Roma Routes (Culture 2007-2013) was designed to celebrate Roma heritage and culture, raise its profile, encourage intercultural dialogue and help break down barriers between Roma and non-Roma people.

Children in the exhibition at the Byzantine Museum
© Byzantine Museum (Athens) Veronique Magnes

Visitors at an exhibition about the Roma at the Byzantine Museum
© Byzantine Museum (Athens) Veronique Magnes

The partnership included heritage organisations and Roma representatives from Germany, Greece, Slovenia, Romania and the UK. In this context, the Byzantine Museum engaged in a series of events that attracted members of the Greek Roma community to the museum for the first time. These ranged from Roma artist performances, film screenings and exhibitions to conferences, educational activities, and included the pilot training of young Roma to act as informal "mediators" between their community and the museum.

This successful establishment of cooperation with the Roma community was consolidated and extended beyond Athens and Attica to cover further regions in Greece in the framework of a follow-up project.

Through the production of films in collaboration with the Greek Film Centre, museum talks, musical performances, publications and the involvement of Roma people in activities aimed at reaching out to the Roma community, the Byzantine Museum attempted to raise awareness about the history, culture and current living conditions of a population group which, despite its long presence in Greece, continues to be the subject of prejudice, negative stereotypes and social exclusion.

The Byzantine Museum's staff designed and implemented both projects in accordance with the museum's policy to reach out to communities at risk of social exclusion and support the social justice agenda by helping to combat discrimination.

Byzantine Museum

The Byzantine Museum on youtube

The project "Roma Routes" from the Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens, Greece can also be found in NEMO's publication "Museums' 4 Values - Values 4 Museums" alongside many other examples!

SAM ROMA Concert - Musical performance at the Byzantine Museum
© Byzantine Museum (Athens) Giorgos Chras