Funds earmarked to give 17 cultural institutions new touch

Nearly one million euros for technology gloss-ups

Funds earmarked to give 17 cultural institutions new touch

(By Kate Carlisle) Rome, March 20 - Italy's Ministry of Culture (MiBAC) said this week that nearly one million euros have been earmarked to inject a touch of new life into 17 of the country's museums, galleries and archaeological sites. Despite budget cuts, the ministry says that 936,712 euros in funds will be used to update captions, create itineraries, boost marketing and communications. A total of 60 projects were submitted by publicly-funded institutions, 49 those deemed eligible by the committee chaired by Marisa Dalai Emiliani. Seventeen projects made the cut with budgets ranging from the lowest of 14,800 euros to the highest of 72,000. From smart and iPhone applications to narrated itineraries, the overwhelming call is for interactive technology and multimedia solutions. In the north-western region of Piedmont, archeology will be transformed through storytelling and multimedia for the 2nd-century BC site of Libarna. Once an important Roman city situated on the 'Via Postumia', the Libarna settlement will be brought back to life by the Brera Art Gallery, that will create a website and social forum to engage those who cannot access the site. Rome's Luigi Pigorini National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography (Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico 'Luigi Pigorini') is tapping into tablet technology with a 72,000-euro grant especially aimed at engaging special categories of visitors - young students, migrants and those with disabilities. The permanent collection will tech-up access to the museum's multidisciplinary method of cultural comparison and promotion of cross-cultural understanding, historical knowledge and the respect for cultural diversities. Equally multimedia in its approach, Parma's Palazzo Pilotta has been given financing of 59,655 euros to design an interactive portal and open social media accounts. However, the archeological museum in the Emilian city of Parma will not leave out good old fashioned printed materials. Alongside its new, sleek touch screens and illuminated captions, paper brochures in different languages will be made available to the public. In Rome, the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna (GNAM) seized on 72,000 euros for more accessible and well-lit paths throughout the museum with its collection of neo-classical and modernist art. Designed by the architect Cesare Bazzani in 1881, it has the largest collection of modern art in Italy with over 5,000 paintings and sculptures.

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