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Building bridges rather than walls – Information Centre – Research & Innovation

European national histories are frequently taught as isolated narratives that emphasise conflict fairly than cooperation. But not too long ago, EU-funded researchers made use of historic exhibitions and digital systems to remind Europeans just how a lot background and culture they share. A customized-made Android app, for illustration, now assists visitors explore London’s Countrywide Gallery.

© Anton Ivanov Image, #363389439, resource:stock.adobe.com 2021

Researchers in the EU-funded CROSSCULT job designed application apps that permit visitors to better respect Europe’s shared background at famed exhibitions and archaeological internet sites throughout the European Union.

In accordance to job communications coordinator Luc Vandenabeele of the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technological know-how, CROSSCULT experienced two primary objectives. The very first was to digitally make improvements to customer experiences throughout excursions of EU historic exhibitions, this sort of as the Montegrotto Terme archaeological internet site near Padua, Italy. The second was to create occasions that would advertise both a better being familiar with of European background and make improvements to how visitors encounter the occasions. “We aimed to maximize historic awareness by connecting different venues and viewpoints, and by showing the connections involving historic phenomena in different eras,” he claims.

Sharing by connecting

CROSSCULT’s very first motion was to acquire an on line platform for developing Android apps unique to exhibitions and their pilot assignments. The app for the Countrywide Gallery in London, for illustration, gives museum maps, permits visitors to “like” specified museum is effective, and suggests other is effective that the user may possibly like primarily based upon prior enter. These mobile apps, readily available by means of Google Engage in, permit attendees to tailor their digital experiences to their possess preferences.

Another CrossCult-made Android app, “Cultural Connections”, draws parallels involving historical and fashionable situations. For illustration, the app informs end users that areas of Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece have been united for in excess of four hundred a long time throughout the Roman Empire, and details out that underneath the European Union, they have only been united considering that 1986. The app then asks the user to respond by sharing his or her feelings.

When setting up the pilot assignments linked with the apps, researchers started with the core principle that background has no absolute truths, but fairly numerous interpretations and contrasting viewpoints that stimulate individual reflection.
The very first pilot job was an art exhibition at London’s Countrywide Gallery held on 25-29 June 2018. The pilot’s app assists visitors navigate the Gallery’s is effective and poses concerns intended to stimulate the contemplation of their cultural and historic importance.

The second job made a further app that explored the therapeutic use of h2o in antiquity. The app allowed end users to digitally explore historical spas near Lugo, in Spain Chaves, in Portugal Montegrotto, in Italy and the Epidaurus archaeological internet site in Greece.

A smaller location was the target of the third pilot: the Tripolis Archaeological Museum in Greece. “Visitors went over and above the regular degree of historic presentation, this sort of as the variety of a statue or its development day,” Vandenabeele claims. “Instead, they went into further concentrations of reflection, this sort of as in excess of the social elements of life in antiquity.”

The fourth and ultimate pilot allowed end users to investigate the cultural heritage of the metropolitan areas of Valetta in Malta and Luxembourg City and Belval in Luxembourg. The app for this pilot, entitled “CrossCult: Cities”, made use of on line maps to lead visitors on going for walks excursions and pointed out internet sites of cultural and historic importance.

Better historic appreciation

The ultimate benefits from CROSSCULT, which ended in late February 2019, involve financial advantages for collaborating municipalities. Researchers made application and apps that educators, vacationer operators, and regional governments can use to make improvements to their services. In addition, the application platform stays readily available as a toolkit that cultural heritage professionals can use to acquire their possess customised apps.

“CROSSCULT was an awesome journey,” Vandenabeele claims. “It enabled the humanities and technological know-how to be part of forces to guidance reflections on background and an being familiar with of our widespread European past.”