Od dnia 01. 02. 2008r. odwiedzilo nas
ABOUT ECOMUSEUMS („O ekomuzeach”)
An ecomuseum is a kind of “museum without walls”. Nature, culture and history are all displayed where they originated. The visitors’ attention is directed at the interaction between nature (also understood as a place) and people. Thus, ecomuseums are called to life to retain the traces of the past in the landscape by preserving the buildings and other objects in their “natural environment”.
Artefacts and natural phenomena lead to a gradual accumulation of a considerable number of objects: tools of everyday use, ornaments used as elements of pagan worship, the architecture of the nobility or rural areas, a wooden spinning-wheel, love letters, animal or plant species, natural or man-made environment. Thanks to a well-formulated strategy, ecomuseums can exhibit a variety of objects, places, traditions, (hi)stories or legends, constituting the heritage of the people and their land. Ecomuseums should also allow for innovations in the arrangement of elements of the landscape and the revival of neglected traditional objects by assigning them new functions.
How can local communities benefit from the establishment and functioning of an ecomuseum?
One needs to consider whether an ecomuseum can be established anywhere, that is: is it a model applicable for all areas? If not, what makes this initiative feasible for some areas but not for others? There is a range of factors determining the success of such an enterprise: the richness of nature – rich flora and fauna, rare plant and animal species, geological and hydrological phenomena, distinctive geomorphology, conditions conducive to the development of tourism;
• examples of cultural heritage
• archeological sites, historic places, monuments, rich local traditions, peculiar economy and/or industry, interesting professions;
• infrastructure for tourism: places to stay the night (preferably of varied standard), catering industry, tourist trails, guiding services etc.;
• the idea: the ecomuseum is not “about everything”, it should concentrate on one specific element which is the focus or, alternatively, the background of the exhibition, against which a plethora of interesting objects and phenomena and their mutual relations are presented;
• people, who are zealous and aware of the local values and enthusiastic about displaying them in a comprehensive manner;
• partnerships within the system of ecomuseums, necessary for the establishment of a network of exhibitions, dispersed over a particular area;
• tourist attractions: interesting events and exhibitions which will allow for active participation of the visitors
Nevertheless, some would argue that what matters most is the idea and people capable of putting it into effect, whereas the attractive form of the enterprise will suffice to convince the tourists that they were given the opportunity to visit a unique place and have the time of their life there.
Are ecomuseums an alternative for the development of rural areas?
Obviously, one should not expect the establishment of ecomuseums to become the key to solving all economic and social problems. However, there is a number of benefits from the very process of founding and the later functioning of an ecomuseum:
• workshops, shows for the tourists as additional sources of income
• the awareness and understanding of one’s history and tradition, allowing a more conscious shaping of the future
• the observance of local customs which will be handed down to the future generations
• increasing the value of particular objects and tourist events by the establishment and functioning of a well-developed tourist information network (e.g. the composition of a tourist guide, website, an interesting tourist offer to be presented at tourism fairs etc.)
• the integration of strategies for the development of theme tourism (the enlargement and updating of the original offer)
Even though many of the above-presented benefits do not translate directly into rapid economic growth, they can still be an important and valuable alternative for the development of rural areas. This is especially true for tourism, which is a robustly developing branch of economy. It is also worthwhile to consider the imminent threat of the progressing globalization and commercialization and their likely effects on the fragile structure of the natural and cultural heritage. This heritage comprises the common origin and experiences of a number of generations and their awareness of common history and tradition. It is also related to the changing environmental and social conditions.