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

European nationwide histories are usually taught as isolated narratives that emphasise conflict relatively than cooperation. But recently, EU-funded scientists applied historic exhibitions and electronic technologies to remind Europeans just how much history and tradition they share. A tailor made-made Android application, for case in point, now will help guests examine London’s Countrywide Gallery.


© Anton Ivanov Image, #363389439, 2021

Scientists in the EU-funded CROSSCULT challenge designed software package applications that make it possible for guests to better value Europe’s shared history at renowned exhibitions and archaeological web-sites across the European Union.

In accordance to challenge communications coordinator Luc Vandenabeele of the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, CROSSCULT experienced two main objectives. The initially was to digitally enhance visitor ordeals all through excursions of EU historic exhibitions, these types of as the Montegrotto Terme archaeological internet site near Padua, Italy. The next was to generate events that would boost each a better comprehension of European history and enhance how guests expertise the events. “We aimed to raise historic awareness by connecting distinct venues and viewpoints, and by showing the connections involving historic phenomena in distinct eras,” he states.

Sharing by connecting

CROSSCULT’s initially action was to create an online system for creating Android applications unique to exhibitions and their pilot tasks. The application for the Countrywide Gallery in London, for case in point, delivers museum maps, enables guests to “like” particular museum will work, and indicates other will work that the consumer may well like primarily based on prior enter. These mobile applications, accessible by means of Google Play, make it possible for visitors to tailor their electronic ordeals to their possess tastes.

A different CrossCult-formulated Android application, “Cultural Connections”, draws parallels involving historic and present day occasions. For case in point, the application informs buyers that locations of Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece were united for above 400 a long time all through the Roman Empire, and points out that below the European Union, they have only been united due to the fact 1986. The application then asks the consumer to respond by sharing his or her views.

When constructing the pilot tasks affiliated with the apps, scientists began with the core theory that history has no complete truths, but relatively numerous interpretations and contrasting viewpoints that encourage particular reflection.
The initially pilot challenge was an art exhibition at London’s Countrywide Gallery held on twenty five-29 June 2018. The pilot’s application will help guests navigate the Gallery’s will work and poses thoughts meant to encourage the contemplation of their cultural and historic importance.

The next challenge formulated one more application that explored the therapeutic use of water in antiquity. The application authorized buyers to digitally examine historic spas near Lugo, in Spain Chaves, in Portugal Montegrotto, in Italy and the Epidaurus archaeological internet site in Greece.

A smaller venue was the target of the third pilot: the Tripolis Archaeological Museum in Greece. “Visitors went over and above the normal level of historic presentation, these types of as the sort of a statue or its development day,” Vandenabeele states. “Instead, they went into further amounts of reflection, these types of as above the social features of everyday living in antiquity.”

The fourth and remaining pilot authorized buyers to investigate the cultural heritage of the cities of Valetta in Malta and Luxembourg Town and Belval in Luxembourg. The application for this pilot, entitled “CrossCult: Cities”, applied online maps to guide guests on going for walks excursions and pointed out web-sites of cultural and historic importance.

Better historic appreciation

The remaining success from CROSSCULT, which ended in late February 2019, consist of economic benefits for participating municipalities. Scientists formulated software package and apps that educators, tourist operators, and community governments can use to enhance their solutions. In addition, the software package system stays accessible as a toolkit that cultural heritage gurus can use to create their possess customised applications.

“CROSSCULT was an amazing journey,” Vandenabeele states. “It enabled the humanities and technologies to be part of forces to assist reflections on history and an comprehension of our widespread European earlier.”