Perspectives in the first person. A questionnaire on museum semiotics

Abstract This paper is a preliminary step towards a large-scale analysis of the perspective(s) through which museums communicate their contents. In order to do so, the following article relies on the principles of semiotics and studies the current use of first-person narrators in museum communication. A qualitative-quantitative approach has been used to conduct this research. […]

Ancient Near Eastern mementoes: The archaeological ‘souvenir’ industries between replica and invention

Abstract This short contribution investigates some preliminary insights concerning the production and dissemination strategies of modern replicas of ancient Near Eastern artefacts housed in museums worldwide. By drawing ona case study of the ancient Near East, this paper intends to illustrate not only the souvenir industry, the most immediate way to promote the museums’ public […]

The Museo delle Culture and its audience: a five-year balance

Abstract In 2015, in a period of lively debate around the role of museums in the era of globalization which involved major European institutions, Milan witnessed the opening of the Museo delle Culture – Mudec, in a former industrial area that is now mainly devoted to design and fashion. The Museum’s permanent exhibition was arranged […]

Excellence and craft. A network of museums to challenge post-earthquake crisis in the Marches

The Research Project ‘Techne’ (Ancient TECHhnologies and workshop NEtwork) aims at reconstructing and investigating the origins, the historical development and cultural context, the technical aspects of craftmanship, and at retrieving the excellence of artisan activities in the Marches as a contribution to re-challenge the territory after the seism. The purpose is to constitute a network of museums dedicated to craftmanship, starting from a pilot experience (Museo della Tela, Macerata), in which past and present meet. Through a diachronic and multidisciplinary approach, the project involves different stakeholders, i.e. the University, the local administrations, private societies and inland communities, those majorly suffering the consequences of the earthquake.

‘Pompeii-mania’ in schools Down Under

Each year around 11,000 teenagers in the Australian state of New South Wales study the archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum as a compulsory topic in the senior school subject of Ancient History. Students examine written and archaeological evidence of the everyday lives of ancient people, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, and how the sites were rediscovered and excavated. Most importantly, they learn to critically examine ethical issues relating to the conservation, reconstruction and interpretation of Pompeii and Herculaneum and how they affect tourism and heritage management in Italy today. The topic has become so popular that it can best be described as a ‘Pompeii-mania’ which has spawned a thriving ‘industry’ of conferences, textbooks, university courses and even school trips to Italy. In this paper I explain how ‘Pompeii-mania’ developed, its impact on teachers and students, and provide evidence of its influence on students’ choices of university subject.