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ASTRA VR, at the end of the implementation period

The project Implementation of latest multimedia technology in interpreting and communicating the ethnographic heritage of ASTRA Museum was implemented from the 1st of February 2020 to the 31st of January 2022 and financed with the support of EEA Grants 2014 - 2021 within the RO-CULTURE Programme.

 

In this project, 13 objects were restored, exhibited and interpreted in a new exhibition circuit (ASTRA VR), comprising three locations of the Open air museum: the beeswax candle maker's homestead from Sebeșu de Jos, the shepherd's homestead and the sheepfold from Rășinari. Latest multimedia technologies are used in the exhibition, visitors being invited to discover the stories of the objects by means of 20 VR headsets, audio and light systems and comic strips. During the implementation of the project, the exhibition was visited by approximately 9.000 persons.

 

The exhibition was capitalized by a cultural program consisting of 21 crafts and gastronomic workshops supported by local producers, as well as re-enactments and fairs. This programmed brought together 236 local people and 1.559 participants.

 

The project was carried out in partnership with Museums of South Trøndelag (MiST), Norway, which had a consultative role regarding heritage management and the implementation of new media technology in interpreting the ethnographic heritage.

 

“The ASTRA VR project helped us achieve some important results. We have cast light on ASTRA Museum’s heritage by exhibiting it in a new way, using current methods addressing all generations, but especially the young one. We are talking about VR technology, which is used more and more often in museums. ASTRA Museum is a pioneer in this respect among the open air museums in Romania. The results we have anticipated were achieved and can be seen by the visitors.”, declared Ovidiu Baron, Deputy General Manager of ASTRA Museum

 

“The general objective of this project was to develop innovative methods of interpreting and communicating ASTRA Museum’s heritage, as well as that of the Sibiu county. In order to achieve it, we have developed a series of activities. We have restored some objects from the museum’s collection, we have organized a new exhibition in three museum locations, which has been open for visits starting from last summer. Following the launch event, we have organized several crafts and gastronomic workshops, as well as thematic fairs and re-enactments.”, declared Diana Roman, Project manager

“ASTRA VR is indeed a premiere in Romania in terms of open air museums. Very often, the visitors do not have access to the contents that generations of researchers and curators have collected. We are talking about details, impressions, stories told by those who have made and used the objects before they became part of the museum. We have tried to use all these as a new means of communicating their stories. ASTRA VR is a warm, humanized exhibition. The object becomes a real character, speaking to the visitors through all its cultural content, using different narrative voices. The VR experience offers the public the opportunity to be part of the story and to understand what these heritage objects mean to us, museum specialists.”, declared Mirela Iancu, the exhibition coordinator

 

“Through the presence of local communities in this project, we have managed to get involved in their development. Together with them, we have re-enacted local customs in the museum. We have managed to teach craftsmen and bearers of local traditions to understand entrepreneurship. This was an experience involving many types of resources, bringing forth many challenges, but also rewarding moments. This kind of cultural programme can generate new approaches for the future.”, declared Lucian Robu, coordinator of the cultural valorization programme  

 

The funds’ absorption rate was of 98,64%. The project benefited from a non-reimbursable financing of 126,926.99 euro (85% EEA Grant and 15% national budget), the total value of the project being of 164.567,36 euro.

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