Wednesday, 11 March 2009

MAV - Museo Archeologico Virtuale, Ercolano

Jo posted about the MAV (Virtual Archaeology Museum) in January, but communal silence suggests that none of you have visited yet?
It's an interesting place that has caused much discussion in Ercolano. Some scholars have criticised the quality of the reconstructions (it seems that there was a lack of consultation with archaeologists on the content), but you can't criticise the amount of technology involved. It has been a huge hit with the local community - and some 20,000 people visited in the first three months of opening (opened August 2008). Most non-scholars I've spoken to were very impressed - and school teachers are thrilled about having somewhere to take their classes that allows more interaction that an archaeological site.
An actual visit involves looking at a series of reconstructions of the Vesuvian sites, including interactives, and does help normal vistors (non-scholars) to understand better how a Roman city might have been, however picky we might be about details.
Interestingly the MAV itself only takes up one floor of the building it's housed in, with exhibitions regularly on display on the ground floor on a variety of subjects (the best so far was on the contemporary religious following of the Madonna dell'Arco). Other areas of the building are due to open, including a cafe space - all part of the Urban Herculaneum programme to improve the city for visitors.
Anyone interested in popping in can find the MAV on Via IV Novembre - so as you're coming down the main road from the Circumvesuviana station to site, you find it on your right.

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