«The future of museums? On-site and online ». Interview with Christian Greco, director of the Egyptian Museum of Turin

7-09-2021 | Featured in HP, News

Christian Greco

«The pandemic has undermined the role of the museum in society. While we continued to take care of the collections and objects, we did not have the public. But we have not failed in our primary task ». Christian Greek, director of the Egyptian Museum of Turin since 2014, he is one of the most interesting figures of the Italian museum panorama and lead one of the most interesting cultural centers in the country. «In the future of museums, research will never be lacking - he explained -. This aspect has very often been underestimated. Without it, a museum is reduced to the sum of the objects it contains. To get them to live Research is needed. These places must become osmotic with the universities ».

Christian Greco, museums without borders

In a moment historical still delicate, with a thousand unknowns about the future and the return to one new normality, museums are living actors of a sector, that of culture, which has opened up to innovations. "The pandemic has led us to reflect on a radical transformation - he explained Greek -. There is an on-site museum and an online museum. And one must not be a substitute for the other ». The Egyptian museum, known all over the world, has always carried out conference activities, also broadcasting them online. “Those in English, however, had never attracted large audiences. After the outbreak of the pandemic emergency, we realized that we could really act as an international museum, making ourselves heard in New York and Sydney. Physical limits are no longer an insurmountable boundary. Let's talk to the world now ».

Works of art or objects with a life?

The historical and artistic heritage present in Italy is a set of assets that politics, institutions and individuals will have to continue to enhance. “Italy is the country of 4,500 museums, which has consciously chosen not to have a single large national museum. Museum and landscape must be close. We must insist on a fundamental question - he argued Christian Greek - the object we see in a shop window must be seen as a material culture and as such must be put in a context. Separating an object and considering it a work of art risks not making it clear that that artifact has value only if immersed in a context ».

To do this the technology and the innovations they must not become the goal, but the tool for expanding knowledge and possibilities. «I would like to put the biography of the object back at the center of the discussion - concluded the director Christian Greek - because it has endless stories to tell us: tell us how it was born, what it was for, when it was dispersed and recovered, when it entered a museum. New technologies allow us to penetrate inside the object. We can discover a great deal from the epidermis of mummies; or, again, analyze a painting and study the painter's work ».

by Alessandro Di Stefano

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