[S4.4] Re-contextualizing the Museum collections and objects to their origin

Date: Wednesday,3 October
Time : 11:50 - 13:20
Duration : One session
Place: Pasiphae
Audience Type : Open
Type: Panel Discussion

The absence of any certain policies in the early collecting activities of museums, private collectors and dealers caused in many cases disconnection between the collection sets of the same creator, painter, maker or owner or the same tomb, burial, shaft of the archaeological site in case of the archaeology collections. For instance, in the case of the Egyptian antiquities, most of the early collectors and discovers have distributed their collections among several museums without even documenting the history of these collections, their connections which are very important in regard the interpretation of the relevant meaning, use, and purpose of the archaeological findings. Moreover, the discoverers and the collectors often do not share the history of these objects with new holders (museums and galleries), keeping the records only in their personal diaries and archives. One example of a discoverer, is the British archeologist F. Petrie who excavated Egypt between 1882 and 1920; Petrie shared and distributed tens of thousands of objects from his excavations between 350 museums and private collection in the UK and around the world, while he kept the records of the excavations, photographs  and his daily dairies during excavation in his own archive in London. Tens of thousands of these objects that belong to object-groups, findings, tombs, burials or shafts are placed accessible to the public in museums, but have been disconnected from their history and sets.
Non-ethical behavior or just inability to manage things by context, whatever the reasons or motivations, which happened with tens of thousands of objects and collections in the past, puts the museums nowadays in such difficult challenge in order to retrieve and re-contextualize their collections. Illicit trafficking of objects even aggravates the situation further. The situation applies to most of the other kinds of museum collections, such as paintings, ceramics, sculptures, and modern fine art objects, etc. It becomes a shared responsibility to provide access and share the whole records, dairies, data, archive materials of any of the public collections. The reconnection of contextual information with the objects across institutions and nations is an urgent necessity for collection management, display, and interpretation.

New technologies allow for connecting data in ways we could never imagine before. Social organization methods, such as proactive steps supported by policies, crowd-sourcing, facilitating individual, effective communications between information requesters and holders, may provide the necessary flexibility to act realistically and effectively according to resources, costs and demand.

This panel aims at discussing the feasibility of large-scale, effective and sustainable ways to reconnect contextual information with the objects. It will try to identify key factors and means at the levels of the organization, collaboration and good practices of the involved communities, of desirable political and public support and of the latest technologies that can facilitate this endeavor. Ideally, it aims at mobilizing participants to create a respective feasibility-oriented resolution and initiative to further develop methods and foster engagement.

Chair:
Franco Niccolucci
PIN, Prato
Short Bio:

Franco Niccolucci is a former professor of the University of Florence and of the Science and Technology in the archaeology Center of the Cyprus Institute. He has been the coordinator of the projects PARTHENOS, ARIADNE, CREATIVE CH, COINS, CHIRON and 3D-ICONS. He is the author of about 100 publications in the domain of ICT applications to CH. He was the chair of CAA2004 and founder of the VAST conference series in which he co-chaired the 2000, 2003, 2004, 2011 and 2012 editions.

Franco Niccolucci
PIN, Prato
Short Bio:

Franco Niccolucci is a former professor of the University of Florence and of the Science and Technology in the archaeology Center of the Cyprus Institute. He has been the coordinator of the projects PARTHENOS, ARIADNE, CREATIVE CH, COINS, CHIRON and 3D-ICONS. He is the author of about 100 publications in the domain of ICT applications to CH. He was the chair of CAA2004 and founder of the VAST conference series in which he co-chaired the 2000, 2003, 2004, 2011 and 2012 editions.

Presenters:
Martin Doerr
ICS‐FORTH, Greece
Short Bio:

Dr. Martin Doerr, former research director and honorary head of the Centre for Cultural Informatics at the Institute of Computer Science of FORTH Heraklion, Greece.

Sorin Hermon
STARC, The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus
Wesam Mohamed
Ministry of Antiquities, Cairo, Egypt
Short Bio:

Wesam Mohamed is a curator at the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and she has been working with the museums of Egypt for nearly a decade. She has participated in the renovation of a number of museums and the opening of other new museum projects. Formerly, she was a curator at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) and later an Archaeologist at the Assistant Minister's Technical Office. She also joined the team of the British Museum as Project registrar of 'Egypt Documentation Project' and Lead Coordinator of 'The Glass Negatives Preservation Project'. 

Lina Nagel
Centro de Documentación de Bienes Patrimoniales, Ministerio de las Culturas, Artes y Patrimonio, Chile
Short Bio:

In charge of the Normalization and Illicit Trafficking Area of ​​the Heritage Property Documentation Center of the Directorate of Libraries, Archives and Museums of Chile (DIBAM). Historian of Art and Professor at the University of Chile and several private universities, she is a specialist in Collections Registration and Documentation. Professor in several training courses for professionals in Latin America, she is the author of several publications and coatures of the publication: Manual of Registration and documentation of cultural assets.