Transforming the Archeological Museum of Durres into a Modern Educational Hub
14 October 2022
The Archeological Museum of Durres hosted an official event to mark the start of the restoration works in the framework of the EU-funded project EU4Culture, implemented by UNOPS Albania in partnership with the Ministry of Culture. The event brought together representatives from the Ministry of Culture, EU Delegation, UNOPS, officials from the municipality of Durres, media representatives and experts from the heritage institutions.
“The EU4Culture programme is an investment of 40 million euros that the EU has brought to Albania in order to address the devastating earthquake when it comes to destruction of cultural heritage sites. We are on the same page when we say that this program is about reconstruction and much more. It is re-conceptualising through innovation and this approach is used for the museum in Durres in a way that respects cultural heritage and brings more innovative elements through IT and new experiences to tourists. It is about the past that we want to restore to its original beauty by respecting and bringing it to the next generation” said Hubert Perr, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Albania.
The Archaeological Museum of Durrës is one of the sites damaged by the 2019 earthquake to be restored under the EU-funded EU4Culture project implemented by UNOPS in close collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of Albania. It is the largest archaeological museum in the country with an extensive collection consisting of more than 3,000 artifacts discovered in the nearby ancient site of Dyrrhachium includes an extensive collection displaying the development of the city of Durrës during the Late Antiquity and the Medieval period.
After renovation the Archeological Museum of Durres will have a contemporary look and will be transformed into a modern educational hub that will allow visitors to immerse and experience ancient history through classic and high-tech story-telling as well as virtual reality and multimedia tools. The visitors will be able to navigate through Durres ancient history exploring redesigned exhibition routes, marvel at new treasures discovered during recent underwater archeological missions and get together for cultural events and performances at a completely redesigned outdoor urban space.
In November 2019, Albania was hit by the country’s most deadly earthquake in the last 50 years. Estimated at a Richter magnitude 6.3, it caused extensive damage across 11 municipalities. The EU4Culture project is funded by the European Union (EU) and is implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in close partnership with the Ministry of Culture of Albania. It focuses on renovation and revitalization of major cultural heritage sites damaged by the earthquake and represents one of the largest cultural heritage programmes funded by the European Union with a total budget of € 40 million.
In parallel, the project aims to enhance Albania’s tourism potential, thus directly contributing to local and regional socio-economic recovery. To that aim, special focus is given to innovative technologies, including digital story-telling and creation of multimedia products designed to be accessible for all.