Δευτέρα, 28 Νοεμβρίου 2011

The Role of Volunteers in the Preservation of European Cultural Heritage


   The heart and mind of the entire event,
         Mrs. Evelyn Kaindl-Ranzinger
An International Conference took place in Graz, Austria, from October 19th to October 21st, 2011 dealing with: «European heritage in our hands». There were 44 representatives of Museums, Libraries, cultural organizations and institutions from 13 European countries (Austria, Greece, Holland, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, Hungary, Serbia, Finland, Russia, Italy, Slovenia, Spain) participating in the conference, which was organized by MUSIS (Museums and Collections in Styria/Austria) under the leadership of its Managing Director, Mrs. Evelyn Kaindl-Ranzinger. The only participants from Greece were the representatives of the Museum of the City of Athens – Vouros-Eutaxias Foundation, Dr Stavros I. Arvanitopoulos (Chief Curator) and Mr. Andreas Spyrou (Head of the Technical Department). 

One of the first day’s workshop teams


The representative of Europa Nostra,
Mrs. Laurie Neale
There were 22 papers, 2 workshops and a round table included in the Conference
program. The comprehensively examined subject was that of volunteering in cultural heritage in several European countries, either members of the E.U. or not, with or without consolidated social awareness. More specifically, the social role of Museums and other institutions in the 21st century was analyzed, as well as the main principles governing the volunteers’ activity, the factors that (must) define the latter’s relations with the cultural institutions to which they offer their voluntary work, the managing principles and the working conditions, the motives given to potential volunteers, knowledge-transfer (particularly from countries where voluntary work forms part of a long-standing tradition, e.g. the United Kingdom), legal matters, as well as the benefits brought to the cultural institutions as recipients of the work of volunteers.

A glimpse of the last day’s session, 
at the Austria Open Air Museum, Stűbing
In the context of the event, the participants had the opportunity to attend a guided tour to two particularly interesting Museums: the Austrian Open Air Museum of Stűbing, which includes a significant number of representative buildings reunited from various parts and regions of Austria, and to the Museum Sensenwerk (a former scythe production facility) in the village of Deutschfeistritz, where the entire process of water-driven manufacturing of agricultural tools of this kind is re-enacted in detail as while in operation (1849-1984).

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