Ecomuseum of granite of Montorfano

Ecomuseum of granite of Montorfano

Vie di pietra, vie di acqua (Stone ways, waterways)

This project, funded by the Cariplo Foundation with EUR 150,000 and carried out in partnership (with Ecomuseo del Granito/Comune di Mergozzo as lead partner, Comune di Baveno/Museo GranUM and Third sector association GAM from Mergozzo), was intended to emphasise the main reason for the creation of the Ecomuseum (mining and trade of stones along inland waterways – rivers and Lake Maggiore). The project involves not only a wide range of cultural and educational activites on this issue but also the restoration of an ancient building to be converted into a cultural and documentation centre.

A new exhibition path has been put into place, including  the existing multisensory and multimedia resources in the Municipal Archaeological Museum where the opportunitites offered by the Museum have increased thanks to the renovated exhibition itinerary with billboards containing specific information boxes for kids, thematic touch interactive stations where reproductions of findings can be touched and handled (devoted respectively to Prehistory, Roman Age and Middle Ages), with multimedia insertions that allow users to know, via experimental archaeology videos, materials and techniques of antiquity. The museum visit, conducted for primary school classes in the form of interactive role play, may be combined with hands-on activities in the teaching room, carried out under the guidance of archeologists involved in the educational activities of the Museum. Among possible themes and hands-on activities we mention the workshop “The job of the archaeologist”, creative and manual ability activities to experience materials and ancient techniques, such as processing of clay, milling of cereals, prehistoric ochre paintings, playing with Lepontine writing, manufacture of textile articles, jewelry or “coins” of the Celtic or Roman traditions. Then there are the “open days” to make tourists live the experience of a prehistoric, Celtic or Roman village installed outdoors (after the introduction in the Museum). By role-playing games kids are involved to play as people living in the past and to  create a prehistoric or Celtic village or a Roman villa.

An original board game named “Along the marble route” was created as a result of the collaboration between Ecomuseo del Granito, Gruppo Archeologico Mergozzo, Museo GranUM di Baveno, Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano and  Parco Nazionale Val Grande, in the framework of an educational project with middle school classes. It is a board game similar to Snakes and Ladders, that proposes in its path challenges, difficulties and advantages that may be overcome  or gained by proving some knowledge of local stones and of the history of the trip they make for being used in Milan and in other Italian and world locations. The box contains the game board, 48 cards containing the challenges, difficulties and advantages, prize cards showing the raw materials  of the area (the pale pink marble from Candoglia, the white Montorfano granite, the pink Baveno granite and timber), counters (made of fragments of local stones of various colours), dice and a 16-page instruction booklet containing not only the rules of the game but also educational information on local stones and their use in Milan. The game is supplied upon little donation. The donations collected are used to support the educational and cultural activities of promoting bodies.



Name of the Ecomuseum: Ecomuseo del granito di Montorfano

Geographical location: Italy, Piedmont region, province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola

Year of establishment: 2007

Network: Piedmont Ecomuseum Network Association