Based on the recommendation from the “Access Survey Report” BMN member museum “The Archaeological Museum of North Macedonia” implemented a number of very interesting activities as a significant step in increasing its accessibility. This professional approach and concept was first implemented almost two years ago at the Bitola Institute and Museum and in 2019 contextualized to the Archeological Museum with great support from managers and with the participation of colleagues from this institution.
“Two projects implemented in Bitola and Skopje raised great interest from colleagues and public and shown great effects on disabled people, in terms of interpretation and promotion of cultural heritage” said Irena Ruzin, program manager of the Institute and Museum Bitola, member of the Balkan Museum Access Group (BMAG) and BMN Steering Board.
The Archaeological Museum of North Macedonia produced educational videos (translated to Enlish as well) with sign language about their artifacts and developed a virtual walk through the museum. The videos are published both on the museum’s website and museum’s YouTube channel. One of the artifacts is the ceramic icon “David’s Psalm” (Psalm 42), dating from the 5th-6th centuries and originates from the famous archeological site Kale in Vinica. Access to videos is also provided in the exhibition space, by scanning the QR codes placed next to the objects. The project was implemented in partnership with several associations of people with disabilities and consultants from the Balkans.
“Produced audio stories and videos in sign language which are shared online are the first part of the project. After the stabilization of the situation related to pandemic, the museum will organise appropriate promotion of other realised results which we currently do not want to reveal to public in details” informed Iva Laban from the The Archaeological Museum of North Macedonia, public relations officer. According to Ms Laban, the videos will be gradually published, focusing on medieval archeology and the Ottoman period, epigraphy and stone plastic, young stone age and late antiquity. Videos from other periods are also planned to follow soon.
Member of the project team, in addition to the leader Irena Ruzin and Iva Laban, who was also the project coordinator, are Tatjana Mijatovic, Jove Pargovski, Tesalija Zirova, Katerina Sharkovska, Silvana Petrova Nasuh, Studio Gimel and Goran Kochov. Authors of the texts with descriptions of the objects from the Archaeological Museum are: the director Slavica Babamova, Mila Shurbanoska, curator-counselor for late antiquity, Marjan Jaglikovski, curator for the Ottoman period, Ljubinka Gjidrova, curator-counselor for the Medieval Archeology and Elena Stojanova Kanzurova- curator-counselor for the neolithic age.