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Transnational Co-operation On Archaeology

Submitted by on 12 Jul 2012 – 11:29

Marco MarinuzziBy Marco Marinuzzi, Fondazione Aquileia

Aquileia was one of the largest cities of the Roman Empire and of the liveliest communities of the early Latin Christianity. It was the most important port on the Adriatic Sea and the starting point of the main commercial, cultural and military routes towards North and Eastern Europe. For more than a century, Aquileia, founded by the Romans in 181 B.C., has been giving its treasures back: the luxurious monuments of the Imperial city, the wonderful mosaics of the Basilica, of the basement Oratory, the small every day objects.

Nowadays Aquileia is a little town in Northern Italy of about 2,500 inhabitants between Venice and Trieste that, since 1998, has been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

In 2008 after a Regional Law of Friuli Venezia Giulia Region and an agreement State-Region on the cultural heritage of Aquileia, four public bodies (the Italian Ministry for Culture, the Autonomous Region Friuli Venezia Giulia, the Province of Udine and the Municipality of Aquileia) decided to constitute the Fondazione Aquileia (, the institution in charge of the management of the archaeological site of Aquileia. In 2009 the Archdiocese of Gorizia joined the partnership.

Fondazione Aquileia not only deals with the management and conservation of the given areas, but it also promotes and finances research and excavations activities aimed at restoring artefacts and grounds.

Since its foundation, Fondazione Aquileia has deemed it highly important to establish relations and partnerships with other European archaeological parks in order to exchange best practices and share information.

It is currently managing three transnational cooperation project: OPENMUSEUMS – Network of Slovenian and Italian museums: promotion and technology innovation in the museums of the Adriatic art cities financed by the Italy-Slovenia cross-border programme, TECH -TOUR Technology and tourism: augmented reality for the promotion of the Roman and Byzantine itineraries financed by the DG Enterprise – Call for Proposals on European Transnational Cultural Routes and the project T-PAS – Tourist Promotion of the Archaeological Sites along the route Aquileia – Viminacium whose coordinator is the Fondazione Aquileia.

T-PAS has been financed by the programme CULTURE 2007-2013 and will have a duration of 24 months until the end of June 2013. Its total budget amounts to EUR 366.980.

T-PAS aims at increasing the value of three archaeological sites that are located on the ancient Roman route that connected northern Italy to the Black Sea through the present-day Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Romania. The project is co-financed by the programme CULTURE 2007-2013 and involves a partnership composed of Fondazione Aquileia (as lead partner), City Museum of Ljubljana and the Serbian Institute of Archaeology. Each of these public bodies manages an archaeological site that is, respectively, Aquileia in Italy, Emona in Slovenia and Viminacium in Serbia. A no longer visible route that, broadly speaking, corresponds to the highway that goes from Venice to Ljubljana and from there to Belgrade.

The project is composed of three sections: we start with a socio-economic analysis aimed at benchmarking the state-of-the-art and the tourism demand and supply in order to develop innovative approaches for increasing employment and business attractiveness. It will be realised involving the population and bearing in mind AGENDA 21 for Culture. In fact we will also involve local stakeholders in some focus groups using a participatory approach. The second part is the promotion of the Roman route: we intend to create tourist packages, work with primary schools organising laboratories and deepen the knowledge of the road. The last section of the project consists in three study visits for cultural operators in each of the archaeological sites concerned. It will foster both the exchange of best practices and also transnational mobility.