20 and 21 December 2022.
In addition to training museum staff and teachers, the Museo Omero is helping to prepare a tactile path for the forthcoming reopening of the Egyptian museum. It has also launched a tactile book project for schools and will shortly announce a competition for the creation of a multisensory work.
A training course entitled "Accessibility to heritage for people with visual impairment" was held in Alexandria, Egypt, on 20 and 21 December 2022. The speakers from the Museo Omero were its President, Aldo Grassini, Annalisa Trasatti and Andrea Sòcrati.
The course concluded with the presentation of certificates by Davide Scalmani, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute of Cairo, and Aldo Grassini.
Museum operators and Egyptian teachers attended the course, which was part of an accessibility project for people with disabilities and was held at the Greco-Roman Museum of Alexandria. The initiative was promoted by the Italian Embassy, Cairo, in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute of Cairo, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the Museo Tattile Statale Omero, the Archaeological Museum of Jesi, the Liceo Artistico Edgardo Mannucci of Ancona. Its aim was improve both accessibility to cultural heritage and the artistic and aesthetic education of people with visual impairments. It also proposed to nurture sensitivity and awareness regarding diversity and inclusion, especially in young people.
For the forthcoming reopening of the Greco-Roman Museum in Alexandria, a tactile path is being created which will allow people with visual impairments to access 12 selected objects. The Museo Omero is producing captions and information in Braille, together with special audio pens for explaining the route.
The project with the schools and the Archaeological Museum of Jesi
The invitation to participate in the training course was extended to some teachers from Egyptian schools of the “Don Bosco” Salesian Institute in Alexandria and to some staff members from the prestigious Library of Alexandria, with the aim of increasing their students’ knowledge of the works in the Greco-Roman Museum. After attending the training course, teachers will be able to guide their classes in the creation of some "tactile books" (sensory books, with relief images and Braille text) based on works in the Greco-Roman Museum. Likewise, Italian students from the Liceo Artistico in Ancona will create tactile books on works in the Archaeological Museum of Jesi.
The initiative aims to enable students with disabilities to learn more about museums and better understand archaeological objects. The project also aims to strengthen relations between the Archaeological Museum of Jesi and the Greco-Roman Museum of Alexandria in Egypt, whose Director in the early 1900s, the distinguished scholar Mariano Bartocci, was actually born in Jesi.
In the context of a cultural exchange based on inclusion and integration, students from the two countries will also take part in a series of web meetings.
The "tactile books" created by the students involved in the project will be presented at the reopening of the Greco-Roman Museum and the inauguration of its tactile path. They will then be exhibited in both Alessandria and Jesi.
Competition for Fine Arts Academies
A competition will also be announced for students of the Academies of Fine Arts of the Regione Marche and the Faculty of Fine Arts of Alexandria in Egypt for the creation of a work inspired by one of the exhibits on show in the partnered museums (the Greco-Roman Museum of Alessandria and the Archaeological Museum of Jesi).
The work must have multisensory characteristics, be readily comprehensible through touch and be composed of at least two different materials. The prizewinner will be announced at the reopening ceremony of the Greco-Roman Museum of Alexandria.