The ITP 2017 Experience (Lena Lambrinou, ITP 2017, Greece)

Written by Lena Lambrinou, Architect-Archaeologist, The Acropolis Monuments Restoration Service (ITP 2017, Greece)

The experience of ITP 2017 for me was excellent. The time I spent at the British Museum made me, as a Greek, see this great institution in a new light, understand how a major museum works and appreciate its efforts for transformation and survival. Having only limited experience with museums – my area of expertise lying more in the restoration of ancient monuments – I was given the opportunity to explore the philosophy behind a museum presentation and the incorporation of archaeological finds as exhibits in the museum environment, or behind the curation of objects that will probably remain forever in a storeroom.

The lessons learned from this have stayed with me. I also found very interesting the BM’s orientation towards new sources of cultural heritage and its further globalisation through the acquisition of art objects from remote cultures and more recent times. I was similarly impressed by the new storage extensions of the Museum and the idea that the exhibitions can be independent from the realm of new acquisitions. After all, the BM is a ‘refuge’ of cultures and a research base beyond being an exhibition center and in this sense I admire its drive to continue to be a world heritage centre. The idea that the BM strives to be like that really impressed me and has given me inspiration in my current work on the rehabilitation of the Old Acropolis Museum on the Athenian Acropolis.

I have many fond memories from the BM ITP and of the atmosphere of the seminars: the excellent organisation on the part of the organisers, the camaraderie and friendships developed between the team members, the cooperative spirit found in the BM, the sense that we were participants in or positive contributors to a large and robust body with tradition and a vision-oriented research center. Most of my ITP colleagues have stayed in touch through Facebook and other social media contacts, so the positive spirit of our collaboration lives on…