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The “Museo Navigante”: an interesting experience regarding maritime museums and heritage in Italy

by Davide Gnola – Director of Museo della Marineria of Cesenatico, Italy

In the first months of 2018 an interesting project took place around the coasts of Italy: the “Museo Navigante” (“Sailing Museum”). The idea come out the year before during the Cesenatico meeting of traditional boats, and it was simple: sailing around Italy with stops in the cities where there is a maritime museum or any other situation or experience with regard to maritime heritage. The promoters were the association “Nave di carta”, owner of the schooner “Oloferne”, and in particular its experienced skipper Marco Tibiletti and his wife Lorenza Sala, simply the best regarding press office and communication, toghether with the Museo della Marineria di Cesenatico; but they decided immediately to associate in the project the Galata Museo del Mare of Genoa – the largest and most important maritime museum in Italy – and also to ask for the patronage of AMMM – Association of Mediterranean Maritime Museums.

The project were further defined in the next months, and at January, 7th, after a press conference held the day before in Rome, Oloferne started his navigation from Cesenatico. The original idea was been developed with two other important elements: a travelling exhibition about Italian maritime heritage to show in every harbour; and the partecipation on board as a part of the crew of groups of students coming from Italian nautical secondary schools, to whom Oloferne gave the opportunity to improve what they learnt at school with the skills of a real sailing.
In the three months of sailing, in a period (from January to March) not so easy to sail also in Mediterranean, Oloferne touched many harbours and met very much and very interesting and passionate people and situation: museums were more than we can expect before, but moreover they founded various and interesting experiences and “best practices” that needed to be more known and shown to a larger public.

“It was very important to share this project in the framework of the Association of Mediterranean Maritime Museums – underlines Maria Paola Profumo, AMMM President – because we think that any project held in our countries have a special value also for the entire network”.
“The most important result achieved by the project – says Davide Gnola, Director of Cesenatico maritime musem – was the awareness that Italy in effect have got an important asset in safeguarding maritime heritage, despite of the fact that there are isolated and not linked in a network, and so not adequately known by the public and public institutions.”
“Anyway – continues Lorenza Sala, communication manager of Museo Navigante – this is a richness where we can count on for further projects about we are since now working on, especially to learn to museum directors and others a better way to communicate their activities, and about education for young people and schools.”
“We have also the idea to continue our navigation, maybe to explore other coasts to met and know other maritime museums, heritage boats and vessels, and so on – says Marco Tibiletti, skipper of Oloferne – keep in touch with us.”
The “Museo Navigante” stopped its trip at the end of March in Escale a Séte, becoming so the official vessel of the Italian delegation at the French festival composed also by Museo della Marineria di Cesenatico together with the association “Mariegola” and AVEV – Associazione Vele d’Epoca Verbano, the very dynamic association of classic boats of the lake Maggiore, but very active with its President Paolo Sivelli also at sea, that parcecipated in the last maritime festival of Brest 2016 and Semain du Golfe 2017. The Museo Navigante and Oloferne was a great opportunity to show to the French very interested people what people are doing in Italy in the field of maritime museums and heritage.

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