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facciata del MEI alla Commenda di Pré, Museo Nazionale dell’Emigrazione Italiana tra i vincitori della quinta edizione del premio Memorie Migrate

The MEI Museo dell’Emigrazione Italiana (Italian emigration museum) is online with a new website: a concrete support for visitors, a useful tool to research, collect and put online information and testimonies of MEI’s heritage.

A new website for the MEI Museo dell’Emigrazione Italiana, created by Liguria Digitale on behalf of the Municipality of Genoa. The digital MEI, which is the name of the project carried out, is part of the broader programme of digitisation of Genoa’s museums, in particular Palazzo Rosso, the Museo dell’Emigrazione Italiana and Museo di Storia Naturale (Natural History Museum). This was made possible thanks to the important contribution of the Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation, which has always been attentive to the cultural identities of the territories, and which has made available 900,000 euros to the municipal administration for the occasion. Thanks to a simple and intuitive interface and many innovative contents, the site is not just a simple showcase for the Museum. Still, it aims to be a concrete support for visitors, both real and virtual and a tool to facilitate the work of research, collection, networking and interchange of all the information and testimonies that represent the great heritage of the MEI. On the new website, users can find all the information they need to plan their visit in the best possible way (opening hours, logistic indications, possibility of purchasing the Museum Card online) and can also explore the exhibition itinerary in advance through a section describing and illustrating the 16 thematic areas into which the Museum is divided, with the 70 multimedia stations, 25 laser projectors and no less than 1,300 images, distributed over the 2,800 square metres on three floors. Through the new website, visitors will also have access to two sections of informative content. One is dedicated to the vast topic of emigration, while the other collects the testimonies of Italians who have emigrated to various parts of the world over the years, each accompanied by countless digital contents. The platform also allows users to customise their search within the archive of testimonies, filtering them by historical period, thematic area or geographical area. One of the most interesting new features of the new website is certainly the Virtual Tour, developed together with ETT. Through this new function, the user can make a real remote visit, walking through a 3D virtual space with the same perspective as during an in-person visit. Through a vast network of clickable hotspots, the visitor will be able to navigate two distinct thematic paths: one dedicated to the Commenda di Pré, the medieval building that houses the Museum, its history and architecture, and the other dedicated to the actual visit to the MEI rooms. During the virtual tour, the visitor will have access to all kinds of multimedia content, already available in Italian but soon to be translated into English, French and Spanish. This section of the website aims to promote the contents of the Museum, in particular the educational ones dedicated to schoolchildren of all ages. Furthermore, it also (no less importantly) allows the many Italians living abroad, perhaps the children or grandchildren of emigrants, to get to know the MEI and the stories collected in it. This will enable them to rediscover the tales of their compatriots’ journeys to the four corners of the globe.    

Last but not least is the “post-visit” section of the site. Here the user will be able to stay informed about all the events, exhibitions and initiatives organised by the MEI staff in a direct and continuous relationship over time. The new MEI – Museo Nazionale dell’Emigrazione Italiana – is the result of an agreement between the Ministry of Culture, the Liguria Region and Genoa City Council to narrate multiple aspects of the Italian migration phenomenon from the Unification of Italy to the present day. The multimedia exhibition can be visited inside the Commenda di San Giovanni di Prè, renovated for the occasion, and lives in close relation with Mu.MA – Istituzione Musei del Mare e delle Migrazioni (institution of sea and migration museums) and Galata Museo del Mare (Galata maritime museum). From Genoa, millions of Italians left for the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe, leaving everything behind to embark on a journey without return. The MEI was created to remember these migrants, tell their stories, and explain why they departed from a human, historical and sociological point of view. An innovative multimedia museum where visitors can interact with spaces and objects and enjoy immersive experiences thanks to state-of-the-art technology. See, hear, learn and test themselves in the scenographic settings of one of the city’s oldest medieval buildings.