EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel gets unique insights into museum work during a NEMO Political Internship

On the invitation of the Network of European Museum Organisations (NEMO), the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth will participate in a NEMO Political Internship at the Children’s Science Centre Muzeiko in Sofia (Bulgaria) starting at 14:00 CEST today 2 October 2020.

During the half-day internship at Muzeiko, the Commissioner will get first-hand experience of different kinds of museum work and the museum sector’s contribution to lifelong education, development and social cohesion. She will also get insights into museum operations during a pandemic, including the new routines that are in place to ensure a safe museum visit.

Commissioner Mariya Gabriel looks forward to the internship and reinforces the importance of museums to build a strong and united society: “Museums are real treasures, both physically and spiritually. Physically, because they house our historical, scientific, artistic, and cultural artefacts, preserving and promoting our cultural heritage. Spiritually, because they have the power to reflect and shape our society, by deepening our knowledge, making us reflect on our ideas, impressions, pushing us to make discerning judgments. When going to a museum, national or local, we learn from our past, bring the community together and educate future generations.”

Museums continue to bring people together and create a sense of community even when their doors are closed. Bistra Kirova, director of Muzeiko, points to the resilience and creativity that Muzeiko and other museums showcased during the initial months of Covid-19. She explains that “Muzeiko entered the homes of thousands of families through “Muzeiko @ Home” on social media and provided meaningful, educational and fun content.  Although we did not generate revenue, we increased the awareness, and we kept our visitors and followers motivated to come to Muzeiko once we opened again. We believe that we added value for the community – in particular to families with kids that have to stay at home.  We know that children need us during the closure, and we also know that they will need us even more afterwards. With the coronavirus, children have missed one of the most important things for their development – the PLAY, and Muzeiko’s role is to help families bring back play in the life of their kids.”

Muzeiko brings together a youth focused cultural experience with informal learning in an environment that promotes research and play. Considering that each NEMO internship is tailored according to the participant’s field and interest, Muzeiko was a natural choice for the Commissioner’s internship. Julia Pagel, NEMO Secretary General, adds that “Muzeiko is one of those great examples that manage to bring together culture, science, learning and youth in a meaningful way. Museums can create an environment in which children have fun while learning about space travel which shows that they are ideal places to bring together different sectors. Sectors that individually wouldn’t be able to create such an impact and need museums to amplify their message.”

Find more details in the press release