“MAP for ID – Museums as Places for Intercultural Dialogue”

IBC - Institute for Cultural Heritage, Regione Emilia Romagna | City of Turin - Department of Cultural Heritage Education |


Please note: given the national scope of “Heritage and Interculture”, this project description devotes a particular attention to the Italian museum pilot projects carried out within the framework of “MAP for ID”.

For further details on pilot projects developed in the Netherlands, Spain and Hungary see the final publication “Museums as places for intercultural dialogue. Selected practices from Europe”.


· Project leader: IBC – Institute for Cultural Heritage, Regione Emilia Romagna
· Project partners: City of Turin – Department of Cultural Heritage Education,
Museo degli Sguardi, Rimini, and Amitié, Bologna (Italy); British Museum, Londra (UK); Chester Beatty Library, Dublino Ireland); Museo de América,  Madrid (Spain); Foundation Imagine Identity and Culture, Amsterdam (the Netherlands); Foundation for Museums and Visitors, Budapest (Hungary).

Funding bodies
“MAP for ID” is a project supported by the “Lifelong Learning Programme”
of the European Union.


The project aimed to fully develop the potential of museums as places of “intercultural dialogue” (taking the cue from the definition adopted by ERICarts in a study carried out on behalf of the European Commission, to be intended as “a process that comprises an open and respectful exchange or interaction between individuals, groups and organisations with different cultural backgrounds or worldviews. Among its aims are: to develop a deeper understanding of diverse perspectives and practices; to increase participation and the freedom and ability to make choices; to foster equality; and to enhance creative processes”) and to promote a more active engagement with the communities they serve.


Target groups
Museum professionals and operators from a diverse range of partner institutions (e.g. local agencies for adult education and training, libraries, community associations) wishing to develop their intercultural competence.


Duration of the project


Project description
Through research, dissemination of good practices and the support of a number of pilot projects in museums from partner countries (Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Hungary), “MAP for ID” explored and experimented with new patterns of inclusive mediation/interpretation of collections.
The project was structured into the following  working phases:
· creation of a group made up of the museums involved in the project as partners British Museum, Museo de América, Chester Beatty Library, Museo degli Sguardi), to carry out research on how museums approach intercultural dialogue, look for good practice case studies and analyse them with a view to highlighting the elements that make them commendable and could easily be transferred to other contexts;
· dissemination of research outcomes to professionals in the museum field through a written report and an interim conference, held in Bologna on June 10th, 2008;

· selection and support – both financial and scientific – of thirty pilot projects at local, regional and national level in partner countries, to put into practice the guidelines developed by the research group;
· dissemination of pilot projects’ outcomes through a final conference held in Madrid in October 2009;
· final publication Museums as places for intercultural dialogue: selected practices from Europe, edited by Simona Bodo, Kirsten Gibbs and Margherita Sani (2009).


The pilot projects carried out within the framework of “MAP for ID” addressed an area of their choice, including:
· language learning: enhancing the potential of museums as places for migrant communities to learn the language as well as the cultural traditions and values of their new home
· interpretation: focussing on the interpretation and use of museum collections as bearers of diverse meanings and significance, and involving different groups/communities to take part in the interpretative process as well as in the display of artefacts
· pluralistic approaches: supporting practices that involve perspectives and viewpoints other than those of the “dominant” culture
· story telling: collecting life stories (as intangible heritage) and promoting an intercultural/inter-generational dialogue between different audiences
· development of the intercultural competencies and skills of museum staff: providing museum staff with intercultural competencies and communication skills, also including the ability to establish links with actors from different institutional and professional contexts, and therefore develop effective partnerships.

Museums taking part in the experimentation were provided with:

1. Guidelines to implement their pilot projects:
· intercultural dialogue as an interactive, bi-directional and dialogical process
· dynamic, dialogical notion of “heritage”, where meanings can be renegotiated and re-constructed
· responding to the growing diversity of museum audiences by working with all types of collections – not simply those with immediate or superficial relevance to specific communities or individuals
· encouraging cross-cultural discussions, debate and understanding between mixed groups
· focus on the development of intercultural competencies, attitudes and behaviours
· focus on process and methodology rather than content
· long-term work and commitment with audiences, by including their voices in planning, interpretation, documentation and display
· promoting interdepartmental co-operation or cross-sector partnerships to maximise the broader social impact of projects, and to ensure that a range of different competencies and skills is developed
· building the outcomes of intercultural activities into the institutional fabric of the museum, ensuring legacy, progression and institutional change;

2. A project report and self-evaluation form, covering the following issues:
· institutional context and rationale of the project
· area of the project (see above)
· project summary (objectives, project partners and respective roles, participants, strategies and main working phases)
· documentation and evaluation
· outcomes of the project
· good practice criteria
· budget.

A list of the museum pilot projects carried out in Emilia Romagna and Turin follows:


· “City Telling” (Turin)
project team: Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation, in cooperation with the National Museum of Cinema and MAMbo – Museum of Modern Art of Bologna (Bologna); target groups: young students of immigrant background (aged between 14 and 20) attending a local Centre for Adult Education and Training.

· “Lingua contro Lingua” (“Tongue to tongue. A collaborative exhibition”)
project team: Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the University of Turin, Centre of African Studies; target groups:  cultural mediators with an immigrant background, museum visitors and non-visitors (e.g. young people and “new citizens”), students in the two final years of high school.

· “In ogni storia c’è un giardino” (“There’s a garden in every story”)
project team: Botanical Garden of Turin, in cooperation with the “A Heritage for All” working group and the Royal Gardens of Venaria (Turin); target groups: one class of immigrant students (youths and adults) from CTP “Parini;” one class of students from a local high school specialising in art subjects; native and migrant users of a community centre (ASAI – Association of Intercultural Animation) based in the neighbourhood of San Salvario, Turin’s multiethnic heart..

· “MAP for TORINO” (“MAP for Turin”)
project team: the National Museum of Cinema, in cooperation with CTPs “Parini” and “Saba” (Permanent Territorial Centres, Turin); target groups: participants from different educational contexts (immigrants attending local CTPs and students of technical colleges specialising in audiovisuals / multimedia), both youths and adults.

· “La Reggia: vita in movimento”  (“The Royal Palace of Venaria: life in motion”)
project team: Royal Palace of Venaria, in cooperation with CTP “Braccini” (Permanent Territorial Centre, Turin); target groups: foreign adults attending CTP classes and users of Venaria’s Immigration Desk. The final group involved in the drafting of an intercultural action plan for 2010 was formed by 10 women of different nationalities.

· “La Voce delle Conchiglie: echi di popoli, cultura, arte” (“Whispering shells: echoes of people, culture, art”)
project team: Foundation Torino Musei (Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, Museum of Ancient Art of Palazzo Madama, Medieval Village), in cooperation with CTPs “Drovetti” and “Braccini” (Permanent Territorial Centres, Turin); target groups: CTP students and Italian/foreign students from high schools in Turin’s metropolitan area.

· “Culture Mixture / Impasto di culture”
project team: Albertina Academy of Fine Arts; target groups: young foreign artists attending the Albertina Academy and students of the “Passoni” Art Institute.

Emilia Romagna

· “City Telling” (Bologna)
project team:  MAMbo – Museum of Modern Art of Bologna, in cooperation with Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation and the National Museum of Cinema (Turin); target groups: young Italians and migrants (aged between 16 and 23) from the Katun and Katun Party youth groups, San Donato neighbourhood, Bologna.

· “Animali in cielo e in terra” (“Animals in heaven and earth”)
project team: Natural History Museum of the University of Parma, in cooperation with Googol Cultural Association for the public understanding of science (Parma); target groups: adult citizens from the local African communities; in the final phase of the project: schools, families, migrant communities, general public.

· “Choose the piece. Il ‘museo della città’ come luogo di dialogo interculturale”  (“Choose the piece. The ‘city museum’ as a place of intercultural dialogue”)
project team: Archaeological Ethnological Museum of Modena; target groups: students of immigrant background (young people and adults) attending Modena’s Centre for Adult Education and Training (CTP).

· “Interculturarte. Progetto di mediazione interculturale tra museo, scuole e territorio” (“Intercultureart. A project of intercultural mediation between museum, school and territory”)
project team: Zaffiria, Permanent Centre for Media Education, in cooperation with Museo degli Sguardi (Rimini), Italian and international artists; target groups: Italian and immigrant students in three secondary school classes with a high percentage of foreign pupils.

· “Mothers”
project team: City Museums of Reggio Emilia; target groups: adult women (mothers, professionals, artists) of different nationalities contacted directly by the museum staff or through project partners.

· “L’intercultura come ritratto di una città” (“Interculture as the portrait of a city”)
project team: City Museum of Mirandola; target groups: secondary school students and their teachers.

· “Storie plurali. Il Museo Guatelli, oggetti e storie di vita” (“Plural Stories. Guatelli Museum, objects and life stories”)
project team: Ettore Guatelli Museum Foundation (Ozzano Taro di Collecchio, Parma) and Clio’ 92 (association  of teachers and researchers in history teaching, working group on heritage education in an intercultural key), in collaboration with Festina Lente Theatre, Le Giraffe Association, Vagamonde Association, local authorities, Monte di Parma Foundation and Solidarity Forum; target groups: native and migrant women (some of them teachers) aged between 18 and 60, selected outside formal learning contexts.

Publications / other resources
Final MAP for ID publication: S. Bodo, K. Gibbs, M. Sani (eds.), Museums as places for intercultural dialogue: selected practices from Europe, 2009.

Contact details (project leader)
Istituto per i Beni Artistici Culturali e Naturali della Regione Emilia Romagna
via Galliera, 21 – 40121 Bologna
– Margherita Sani
– Antonella Salvi

Target Groups

Museum professionals and operators from a diverse range of partner institutions (e.g. local agencies for adult education and training, libraries, community associations) wishing to develop their intercultural competence