It is in the name of safety that the management of the University Museum of Chieti, directed by Luigi Capasso, announced the reopening of the Museum to the public on 4th July 2020, about four months after closing (9th March-3rd July). Since the end of May, the Museum staff has started working to plan the reopening of the structure observing and respecting all the regulations of the national and local authorities for the management of the Covid-19 emergency.
The strategies for the reopening of the University Museum of Chieti
New tour itineraries have been created with specific directional signs. The accesses and the ways of using the exhibition spaces have been appropriately limited and the itinerary has been predefined with separate entrances and exits. A special panel with all anti-Covid regulations was installed at the entrance to the structure.
All the safety devices have also been prepared to protect the health of the visitors and staff of the Museum: installation of a protective plexiglass screen and a thermoscanner at the Museum reception, hand sanitizers, free distribution of masks, compilation of an authorization form to access the museum premises.
Although the effects of the lockdown caused evident socio-economic damage in the area, caused by the closure of the buildings to the public, the use of digital technology in the experience of Chieti Museum has increased the desire to come to the museum after its reopening. On the other hand, the virtual channels, already used by the Museum in times prior to the health emergency (even if to a less frequent extent), help to promote curiosity and turn on interest in future visits.
Since July, the Museum has offered educational workshops for children aged between 5-10 years: Fossils and dinosaurs (14th July, 4th and 10th September), Fish and bears (23rd July), Little naturalists (15th and 17th September). Specific procedures were followed to ensure compliance with safety regulations (social distancing, use of the mask, booking and limitation of the number of participants). These events obtained great enthusiasm from our little users.
All the following events organized by the Museum also had some success in participation:
September 26th/27th 2020: Our Culture between Music and Nature, in collaboration with the Music and Art International Academy for the European Heritage Days.
October 4th 2020: Urban Nature – Festival of Nature in the city, in collaboration with WWF Chieti-Pescara, with the participation of CITES Carabinieri Forestali and Biodiversity Department of Pescara, and the Abruzzo and Molise Section of the Societas Herpetologica Italica and WWF Oasis Gole del Sagittario and Lago di Penne.
October 4th 2020: Concert of Anniversaries. In memory of Massimo De Matteis, in collaboration with the Music & Art International Academy.
In September, the usual training meeting Playing, thinking and communicating sciences for teachers of all levels was held online and equally had great success.
Survey on the Museum’s users
The public felt the need for a more direct contact with the goods stored at the facility, to the point that, at the time of reopening to the public, there was an increase in the number of entries compared to the same month of the previous year.
From January to October 2019, there were 11,436 visitors, while the total for the same period in 2020 was 7,051 with a percentage decrease of 38.03%.
The University Museum of Chieti is working to offer captivating and meaningful learning experiences through: remote visit of the museum and educational workshops; themed afternoon workshop paleontological, anthropological, scientific, naturalistic activities for children and teenagers; musical activities, in collaboration with ArtEnsemble, association for the diffusion of musical culture and art.
In these difficult times the Museum has confirmed its service to the community. The mission does not change: enhancing the past to understand the present and plan the future.