Greece celebrated the European Heritage Days 2019 with special activities on Friday and free admission in archaeological sites and museums across the country during the weekend.
European Heritage Days is a joint action of the Council of Europe and the European Commission celebrated every September.
This year’s theme gives “Arts and Entertainment” center stage, promoting the continent’s diverse cultural heritage. The theme in Greece is “Arts and Entertainment — Seeking Free Time.”
In the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, the visitors had the opportunity to interact with the exhibits by spending more time with them. The activity aimed to slow down their tour rhythm and take some time to enjoy the antiquities.
Following the instructions of the archaeologists, they picked their favorite exhibit from the permanent collections of the museum and observed it by spending 10 minutes without being distracted.
“Afterwards, we opened a discussion with the audience that surprised us. People were asking for more details, more anthropocentric regarding the exhibits. They were curious to find out more about the daily lives of the ancient Greeks. Why they were using certain objects and their meaning,” Katia Manteli, archaeologist in the National Archaeological Museum, told Xinhua.
The Heritage Days activity in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens coincided with the Unseen Museum, another event that brings out for the first-time selected antiquities from the world of the storerooms.
After a series of 19 beautiful archaeological assemblages, the Unseen Museum hosted two exhibits which unveiled the story behind the ancient journeys in the Aegean Sea and more specifically in the Cyclades complex.
“Such activities enrich the relationship between the audience and the museum, visitors become more active, they get more involved and develop their curiosity,” said Manteli.