CIEGL XIII, Plenary Session 5: ‘Display and Paedagogy’

Susan Walker (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford) introduced this session with some remarks about the difficulties involved in persuading administrators to take the display of inscriptions seriously, especially within a large museum environment such as the British Museum. Yet both papers sounded encouraging notes in this session.

Isabel Rodà de Llanza (Catalan Institute of Classical Archaeology, Barcelona) in a presentation entitled “Exposicíon de inscripciones” surveyed recent evolutions of the idea of the epigraphic museum, using the evidence of colloquia on the subject and newly conceived or renovated museums. She suggested that some of the best museums were those that presented an integrated view of a few monuments in context, as opposed to those that attempted to offer an integral display of an entire epigraphic collection. Praise was also extended to museums that now make use of multimedia displays, such as the Musée d’archéologie et d’histoire de Montréal.

Charalambos Kritzas (Epigraphical Museum, Athens), “Teaching with Inscriptions: Beyond the Alphabet”, took as a starting point his role as director of the best collection of inscriptions in Greece. He focused on the elaboration of teaching and interactive displays at the Epigraphical Museum and also singled out the local museums of Rhodes and Chios that have recently been made more accessible and attractive to visitors. Kritzas seemed on the whole to agree with Rodà de Llanza’s acclaim of the ‘integrated’ epigraphic collection, and he concluded with a description of possibly the best example of the genre: the Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki.

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