iAlp, mountain museums going digital


The Museo Nazionale della Montagna of Turin, Italy and the Musée Alpin of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France are building a digital database of their combined cultural assets to be made available to the rest of the world. The “iAlp: Interactive Alpine Museums” project, initiated within the framework of the Mountain Partnership, aims to streamline access to and distribution of historical information across borders through innovative museum activities and the use of technologies. On 23 February, the project was presented in a press conference at the Museo Nazionale della Montagna, attended by representatives of the two museums, directors of the alpine regions, scholars and leaders of the Italian Alpine Club.

Aldo Audisio, Director of the Museo Nazionale della Montagna, opened the press conference by introducing each of the guests. Laura Gallo, Chief Operating Officer the Museo Nazionale della Montagna, and Gabrielle Michaux, Director of the Musée Alpin, followed with a detailed description of the iAlp project. The Italian Alpine Club of Turin, in partnership with the Communauté de Communes de la Vallée de Chamonix (Community of Communes of the Valley of Chamonix), was granted €2.55 million in funding from the European Union for iAlp as part of the territorial cooperation programme ALCOTRA Italy-France 2014-2020. By introducing digital technologies and sharing operational methods, the project will allow for the reorganization of the museums’ collections and for the expansion of activities. This will also expand the two museums’ reach beyond their physical spaces to communicate with a wider audience, made up of specialists and scholars as well as enthusiasts of mountain culture and history.

As part of the project’s work plan, the two alpine museums anticipate the creation and dissemination of an App that will allow users to access the database. Another major aspect of the project involves cross-border exhibitions. In 2017, an exhibition on author and mountaineer Albert Smith and the promotion of the Alps in the nineteenth century will be staged. The cross-border programme will also include an initiative on mountain films and a photography display on contemporary views of mountains.

“We are pleased to see the cultural value of mountains elevated in Europe with this project and with the formation of the Mountain Museums Alliance, now in its second year,” said Rosalaura Romeo of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat.

iAlp is an ambitious and complex project that will take place both in the physical reality – using paper documents, photographs and films – and in the virtual world, building a bridge to the mountains of the future and outlining new scenarios for learning about Europe’s highest lands. With the belief that the sharing of culture across borders will be important in years to come, iAlp welcomes further contributions from other countries.

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Learn more about the Mountain Museums Alliance 

Photo by Museo Nazionale della Montagna

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