Online: 4th Annual Meeting of ERIH Italy, 14 May 2020

INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE AND COVID-19: WHICH RESTART AFTER LOCKDOWN

We have come from difficult weeks that have paralysed civil life in Europe and the world. The imposition of lockdown policies has brought the economy, transport, culture and tourism to a general halt.

In all the countries affected by the epidemic emergency, the museum system, in its constellation of large and small museums, has gone into extreme distress because of the stop of activities and it is expected that it will be called upon to face uncommon difficulties in order to embark on an albeit slow recovery.

It is in this context that the European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH) has transmitted to its members a special edition of its ERIH Newsletter (April 2020) dedicated to the effects of the coronavirus. The objective of this special edition of the ERIH Newsletter is to stimulate ideas on how to deal with this shutdown and how to provide its members, through mutual learning from each other's ideas, possible strategies to maintain and develop a stable relationship with their potential visitors, despite the temporary closure of access to the sites.

It is precisely for this purpose that the annual ERIH Italia Meeting will be dedicated this year to the effects of the epidemic disaster on the activities of ERIH Italian members. They represent the best of the industrial heritage in our country. The values (scientific, technical, historical, testimonial, etc.) of which they are an expression constitute a primary chapter of Italian history, culture and identity. It is essential that this heritage does not lose visibility and that it can reopen to its public as soon as possible.

Since for obvious reasons it is not possible to make an appointment in the usual forms, this year the meeting will take place "on line" and will give the participants the opportunity to gather around a virtual table that will be held on Thursday 14th May, at 10.00 a.m. and that will be organized through the ZOOM platform kindly made available by the Museum of Industry and Labour in Brescia (MusIL). The modalities to connect in streaming and to follow the discussion will be communicated in time.

At the end of this virtual meeting, an ERIH Italia document will be drawn up listing the proposals made and on which support may be requested from national and international bodies. A document, therefore, that can also support the needs of the industrial heritage in the overall framework of the resources that will have to flow to preserve and enhance the national cultural heritage.

Massimo Preite
ERIH Italy

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