6th International Learning Exchange

Six delegates from NEMO member organisations participated in the sixth NEMO Learning Exchange hosted by the Istituto Beni Culturali (IBC) in Bologna, Italy from 31 January - 1 February 2017.

During the two-day event the participants from Belgium, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Slovakia and the United Kingdom learned more about the IBC, museum and educational activities in cooperation with schools, the IBC's museum accreditation scheme and visited some of the museums in the city. (Full programme here)

On Day One...

...the participants learned more about IBC and its structure. Afterwards the project "I love cultural heritage" was introduced by Valentina Galloni. The project connects schools and cultural heritage institutions, namely archives, libraries and museums, to assess the cultural heritage in the region. The programmes are financially supported by the IBC and are now conducted in their fifth edition. So far over 250 partners amounting to about 2000 students have participated in the projects, which result in different outputs such as websites, videos, events, computer or even board games.

In the afternoon, the delegates went to visit the Museum of Modern Art in Bologna (MAMBo) to learn more about one of the programmes that was implemented by the museum - a mapping of a street in Bologna through sounds (soundscapes), images, pictures, interviews and further research.

The second day...

...focused on museum standards. In the morning the accreditation scheme for museums that was developed by the IBC was explained by Margherita Sani. Following a decree in Italy from 1998 a Working Group to develop guidelines for museums and their work was set up in 1999. It was made up of representatives from the Italian regions, ICOM Italy and other organisations. The main sources for the development were the ICOM Code of Ethics and the UK Registration Scheme. The work resulted in the 2001 Guidelines on scientific and technical criteria on the standards of operation and development of museums. These were deemed to be very demanding and difficult to meet which is why the IBC developed its own standards for museums consisting of 14 mandatory requirements to be fulfilled by museums. Eventually, this lead to the non-mandatory accreditation scheme started in 2009. Museums are supported in going through accreditation with several forms and guidelines on different matters. By now 139 museums have been accredited in the Emilia Romagna region and subsequently received a Bronze statuette and quality label.

The process is on-going and the Italian museum sector was further transformed from 2014-2016 when the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism as well as the National Museum System were transformed, also by recruiting 20 new directors for several museums in the country.

Afterwards, Giovanni Battista Pesce introduced the Guidelines for the enjoyment of cultural heritage in Emilia-Romagna museums for people with disabilities.The guidelines have been implemented and are continuously being reviewed through nine pilot projects supported by the IBC.

After the theoretical input it was again time to look at the practice, particularly how museums comply with the accreditation standards and the guidelines for people with disabilities.
At the Museo Civico Archeologico it was explained how the museum took on different challenges from accessibility to preservation and conservation. Adjustments to the building as well as new programmes that were established were presented and discussed in-depth at the museum.

In the afternoon, the participants presented their national museum organisations and special projects to the group spanning a broad range from educational programmes in Germany and social value creation in the UK, as well as support for teachers in Hungary to organisational structures in Belgium, capacity building in Greece and standardization efforts in Slovakia.

NEMO would like to thank the Istituto Beni Culturali Emilia-Romagna for hosting this successful Learning Exchange!