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Museo Civico Archeologico Etnologico
Museo Civico d'Arte


Intercultural projects

With a view to actively involving community members who have come to Modena from other parts of the world, the Civic Museums has in recent years created several initiatives that demonstrate their deep commitment to promoting intercultural exchange. These initiatives have generated new audiences and developed a new level of awareness and professionalism within the institution, while conveying the Museums’ strong belief that the sharing of cultural heritage is of utmost priority, a message that is underpinned by the adoption of best practices.
Participation, dialogue, inclusion and sharing are the key words that characterize the Civic Museums’ intercultural projects. Museums such as Modena’s, created in the latter half of the nineteenth century to represent community identity and pass the memory of it on to future generations, are now called on to redefine their role in an ever more multicultural society and to assert themselves as instruments of integration through culture. Nevertheless, the welcoming of “new citizens” must not be limited to a simple dissemination of contents, but rather be based on a shared idea of cultural heritage as a communal asset whose safekeeping, preservation and appreciation is a responsibility shared by the whole community.
The Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology has conducted three projects with groups of immigrants, shared with the public through shows and related events and an agenda/catalogue “for intercultural dialogue every day of the year”. These projects brought together museum staff and community members from a variety of countries in an exchange of ideas on cross-cultural themes such as the Earth or Roads, starting with the archaeological and ethnological collections. Immigrant stories were added to those evoked by the artefacts themselves, creating an intertwining of tales and memories that has enriched the Museum’s cultural heritage with new meanings and multiple perspectives.

The Civic Museum of Art has in recent years developed proposals centred on the art collections exhibited in the Museum, which have become a tool for understanding the Italian language, culture and daily life in Modena and the surrounding areas, in the spirit of open exchange with other cultures and ways of life. Furthermore, as the location of the coordination of the Modena UNESCO site, it has proposed ways of becoming familiar with and sharing the world heritage site, starting with the group of monuments inscribed by UNESCO in 1997, which includes the Cathedral, the Torre Civica (Ghirlandina Tower) and Piazza Grande.