“The Museum is one of the places that give us the highest idea of man”
The 2015 Museums and Cultural Landscapes Census, performed by ICOM Italia with the technical partenariat of CINECA, concluded with the selection of 35 projects from the 168 entries submitted regarding the relationship between museums and cultural landscapes, between collections and context from the perspective of extended responsibility. Indeed, Italian museum institutions were urged to respond and debate on issues regarding their role in the protection, study and documentation of the territory of which they are the interpretational linchpins and their status as educational, intermediary tools which are crucial for promoting the same; they also considered their role in involving the stakeholders (public or citizens) in the activities performed by the museum; and in the definition of territorial policies (in the case of Ecomuseums).
“A museum that is fully responsible for the landscape intervenes on it to protect and preserve it as a material entity and to interpret and promote it as an immaterial entity, using all the economic, human and intellectual resources that may be necessary for this purpose”. (Charter of Siena – Museums and Cultural Landscapes, ICOM International Conference of Siena 2014)
The projects were subjected to a 3-phase evaluation process, performed by trusted Regional and Area Coordinators and finally by a national Work Group appointed by the Board of Governors of ICOM Italia. The process ended with the attribution of the qualification "excellent practice in the relationship between museum and cultural landscape" to 35 valuable, noteworthy projects. “Le vie del marmo”, presented by The Grande Museo del Duomo in collaboration with Museolab6 (for MUMI, Ecomuseum of Milan South) for the ICOM 2016 competition, numbered among the products which were awarded recognition for their efforts, and was the only one from the cultural institutions of the city of Milan.
“Le vie del marmo” intends to educate young citizens and generate in them an awareness of their cultural heritage by exploring their local territory. Specifically speaking, this is a shared, didactic activity that spans a wide range of fields and aims to retrace the construction project for the Duomo of Milan, identifying the connections between the Cathedral and the urban context, tracing the marble as it was transported from the quarries of Candoglia and as far as the Sites via the waterways. The project is developed in two phases: in the first year (2015), several primary schools and a secondary school from Milan actively played an important role in the project. Following a field trip along the banks of the Naviglio Grande, they developed creative ideas and activities for rebuilding the memory of a territory conceptually joined by a waterway. In the second phase, (2016/2017) the proposal was extended to the local schools in the 24 municipalities located along the route of the Ticino, the Naviglio Grande and the Verbano-Ossola, therefore taking in two regions: Piedmont and Lombardy, from the perspective of a cultural exchange between the schools in Milan.Based on these presuppositions, the proposal received the recognition described by ICOM Italia and it will be developped during 2017.