The Museum and Cultural Landscapes census of 2015, conducted by ICOM Italia with the technical support of CINECA, concluded with 35 projects selected out of 168 applications submitted regarding the relationship between museums and cultural landscapes, between collections and context, from the point of view of extended responsibility, deemed deserving of the “excellent practices in the relationship between museum and cultural landscape” certification. Among those selected, and the only one from one of Milan's cultural institutions, was “La Via del Marmo”(The Marble Road), submitted by the Grande Museo del Duomo in collaboration with the Museolab6 (for MUMI, Ecomuseo of Southern Milan).
" La Via del Marmo” aims to educate young citizens, to stimulate their knowledge of their cultural heritage by exploring the area. Specifically, this was a didactic, interdisciplinary, and participatory initiative that looked back at the construction of the Duomo di Milano and identified the connection between the Cathedral and the city by retracing the transport of the marble that was brought from the Candoglia quarries all the way to the construction site via the waterways.
The project was divided into two distinct phases: in the first year the active protagonists were several primary schools and one secondary school from Milan which, following exploration of the Naviglio Grande, came up with creative and active proposals for the memory reconstruction of an area conceptually united by a waterway. In the second phase the project reached out to local schools from the 24 municipalities located along the Ticino, the Naviglio Grande, and the Verbano-Ossola, thus spanning two regions: Piedmont and Lombardy and stimulating a cultural exchange between Milanese schools.
The Grande Museo del Duomo is now the area's interpretation centre, and its website duomomilano.it will be launching a platform that allows people to keep up with the project's evolution. These web pages will host all of the initiative's partners: the cultural institutions that participate, the local organizations that are interested, and the schools that, through their participation, will be part of the cultural production process whose objective is to reconstruct the Duomo's construction, identifying the connections between Milan's Cathedral and the area directly involved in its construction and in the organization of its building site, from the extraction, transport, and processing of the materials, to the various aspects of the jobs connected to these industries.
With the “La Via del Marmo” project an ancient route will come back to life. Thanks to the area's participation, the landscape will become an open-air museum: images and symbols that characterize our cultural heritage.
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