Today is the International Museum Day. This day is celebrated from 1977. It was established in Moscow by the International Council of Museums (ICOM), working alongside the UNESCO.
On this occasion, we would like to present two stages of the project entitled "Museums over the borders". The first stage was implemented within the Lithuania-Poland-Russia Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013. The project was awarded by the European Commission, who has been preparing, together with Interact, a publication "30 projects for 30 years of Interreg", in which this project will be described.
The project was carried out by the Museum of Archaeology and History in Elbląg and the Museum "Friedland Gate" in Kaliningrad. As part of the investment carried out at the Museum of Archaeology and History in Elbląg, the historic East Building on the castle grounds and the courtyard were renovated. The Russian Museum "Friedland Gate" in Kaliningrad carried out the most urgent renovation works and expertises of the adjacent stronghold. The renovated buildings gained new exhibitions and modern equipment. As part of the project, two twin holographic presentation systems were purchased by the museums to present the movie "Stories over the borders". The movie shows common elements in the history of cross-border regions. It is a universal way of presenting history with advanced technology, hadn’t been used in European museums before.
The co-financing for the project amount to 3.5 million EUR has enabled the transformation of local museums into valuable cross-border tourist products that attract tourists not only from Poland and Russia but also from around the world.
The success of the first part of the project, thanks to which the museums established long-lasting partnerships and could present the common heritage of both cities, had an influence on the decision about continuation of cooperation. The existing partnership was extended by one new partner – Center of European Meetings Światowid. The next stage of the project "Museums over the borders II" is being implemented from the funds of the Poland-Russia Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020.
As part of the project, several investment activities are planned, including construction and adaptation works in the "Friedland Gate" Museum in Kaliningrad, creation of a multimedia center for guests of the Center of European Meetings Światowid and creation of friendly open spaces in both museums. The project also involves the production of a holographic movie, which will be presented in both museums thanks to the installations purchased in the previous edition of the project. The partners also plan to expand the existing exposition and create new exhibitions as well as make the museum facilities accessible for people with disabilities. One of the activities in the project will be focused on conducting interviews with the post-war residents of Elbląg and Kaliningrad, which will be presented at permanent exhibitions in both museums. The scenery of exhibitions will refer to the factual data of life in both cities in pioneering times, covering the first decade after 1945.
The co-financing for the project amount to 1.7 million EUR creates an opportunity to increase the accessibility of the museums' offer for disabled people, the elderly people and families with children, as well as will contribute to the popularisation of the offer of both institutions.