Topic of the Year, Volume 2 (2018)

“Museums without walls” and sustainable development in Jordan. Some thoughts from the Madaba Regional Archaeological Museum Project

ABSTRACT – Jordan is rich in cultural and natural heritage and home to renowned touristic destinations, as well as to important archaeological projects. However, cultural and natural assets are threatened by the risk of damage, destruction and disappearance, due to lack of conservation, maintenance and safeguards, uncontrolled urban development, and looting. These threats to sites of historical and cultural significance make raising awareness of the value of cultural heritage an urgent priority for building civic pride and the economic potential of sustainable exploitation of cultural assets. This article reviews current strategies for the protection of cultural heritage in Jordan and reports on a new Italian American-Jordanian project, which aims at developing a new regional archaeological museum for the Governorate of Madaba, central Jordan, which may serve as an educational tool and a springboard for local development and sustainable tourism.