Virtuality and Multimedia for Digital Heritage: Schifanoia Palace and Its Hall of Months

Virtuality and Multimedia for Digital Heritage: Schifanoia Palace and Its Hall of Months

Manuela Incerti (University of Ferrara, Italy) and Stefania Iurilli (University of Ferrara, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0680-5.ch012


The present chapter concerns the multimedia products related to Schifanoia Palace and its famous Hall of Months, some already completed and others still in the design phase. The building, fulfilling the role of museum, is almost entirely closed to the public following the earthquakes of 2012: access is possible only to the main hall, but it will shortly become unusable for a period of at least 12 months due to important works of consolidation, restoration and re-functionalization. The research project is split in stages, half of which have already been completed to date. Its objective is to provide support to visitors in this period of reduced use of space and to be one of the leading tools of communication for the new Schifanoia Civic Museum.
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Players And Expertise: Integration And Synergies In Our Experience

It is important to emphasize that the spread of this technologies in the Italian museum panorama is deeply conditioned by the managerial, administrative and tax aspects of museum institutions. In the national setting and location of our experience, the largest investments in this field are undertaken by private museums (in turn funded by sponsors and foundations), which are also more agile from a design point of view. The amount of funds available to them, along with business reasons, have allowed privates to enhance their own tools and digital content for immersive enjoyment and depth of the goods.

Public museums are bound by legislation that precludes managers' ability to program and manage resources independently. The new national reform, recently set up, allows hope for the future, a forward leap towards a “modern state museum system and dynamic” and towards “the full development of the national cultural heritage” (Ministro Franceschini, Roma, 28 ottobre 2015).

The average museum director still experiences difficulty in finding space and autonomy of investment for digital innovation, with the exception of new complexes built for purely scientific purposes, some of which are internationally known (see the Science Museum of Trento and the Galata Museo del Mare in Genoa). Unfortunately for the public museums that preserve and protect the historical and artistic heritage, the processes and possibilities are definitely more complex in terms of research sponsors and managerial autonomy of investments.

The experience presented here concerns Palazzo Schifanoia, a complex managed by the Civic Museum of Ancient Art of Ferrara, containing one of the best known cycles of paintings with profane Renaissance content in the world, primarily through the studies of Aby Warburg and Warburg Institute of London. This public body sought a partnership with the University with the purpose of making a functional disclosure project to transform a place of storage of goods into a place of cultural formation.

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