Posted in Collection

MANTOVA BETWEEN ENLIGHTENEMENT AND POSITIVISM: an unprecedented journey through arts, science, places and collections

The museums, foundations, schools, institutes and private noble residences in the town of Mantova are home to remarkable private collections and scientific finds dating back to the 18th and the 19th centuries, most of which visitors have no access to. The general aim of the project is to find  a solution to the three major problems related to the access (to increase awareness about the cultural heritage and to encourage its democratic spread), to the participation (to attract visitors having a cultural interest in different fields) and to communication (to develop and disseminate alternative information material published by a plurality of sources).

In this respect, the project pursues 2 macro goals:

1) To increase awareness about the cultural heritage of Mantova by:

·               Classifying and organizing the naturalistic-scientific collections dating back to the 18th  and the 19th centuries held in the local historical library, namely the Biblioteca Teresiana, in the Virgiliana National Academy, in the Junior High School Virgilio by having them registered into the SIRBEC, the Information System for Lombardy Cultural Heritage, whenever possible.

·               Connecting all the naturalistic-scientific collections made available by our partners through a mapping process resulting in an updated list of available resources in town with a central core devoted to all naturalistic-scientific collections, along with an appendix showing possible connections to finds, specimens or records of different nature.

·               Creating a new cultural path focused on the naturalistic and scientific heritage of the town pointing out the presence of different collections located in different places and informing potential visitors on how and when they can enjoy them.

·               Developing multimedia educational paths to promote interactive visits in museums and critical approaches to collections, thus helping the audience to gain awareness of the cultural heritage as an element strengthening the sense of belonging, encouraging dialogue and better mutual understanding.

2) To offer a greater number of chance for visitors to enjoy the historical/architectonical heritage by re-qualifying the places normally devoted to culture thanks to:

·               A requalification plan of cultural institutions as to upgrade them with better equipped rooms to host the collections of the project;

·               The creation of a control board with the function of coordinating bodies and associations so as to allow a regular fruition of the rich cultural heritage, both material and immaterial, object of this project, especially by local school students;

·               Experience exchanges among professionals working in museums, in schools, in univeristies and in the associations representing the current and future potential visitors of museums.

The projects envisages 4 main actions:


This action aims at classifying all the naturalistic-scientific collections in town our partners own or have access to. The classification operation shall then be followed by a general mapping and by targeted interventions to analyze and classify the finds held in 3 different places in town.
Once classified and organised, the finds shall then be entered in the regional and national  databases, if possible.


This action aims at refurbishing and upgrading the rooms where the collections are held in order to equip them with cutting-edge technological and digital infrastructures (Virgiliana National Academy, Biblioteca Teresiana and Torre dell’Orologio). Rooms and sites will be therefore available to make the most of the naturalistic-scientific finds on display.


This action aims at creating a common thread, a connection among the collections, the single finds and the sites holding them. This connection should help the visitor enjoy better the heritage object of this project. The project aims at creating several virtual visit experiences, thus enabling the audience to enjoy the collections and the finds in case no actual visit is possible due to their bad state of conservation, their fragility or their potential bulk quantity. New technologies and multimedia devices shall allow the audience to enjoy the sites in always new ways.


This action deals with all what is needed to promote the activities envisaged by the project, with a particular  focus on new and social media.