The First Albanian Digital Muzeum
By By Ilda Mara / Executive Director of Argjiro
Albanian Daily News
Published April 21, 2015

Albania has inherited
an extraordinary cultural wealth of great historic value, scientific, artistic,
spiritual, educational, etc., of a national and international importance.
Located throughout the country and geographical area with a high diversity of
our cultural heritage assets, such as archaeological parks, monuments, museums,
art galleries, etc., are undoubtedly one of the greatest potentials of Albania
for sustainable development social and economic development and prosperity of
the Albanian society.

From the data
collected and the analysis of the current situation regarding the impact that
our cultural heritage assets in the State budget and the well-being of Albanian
citizens, it turns out that so far these assets are considered a burden that
only require expenses to maintain, and their use in the service of social and
economic development of the country is just casual and unprofessional.

Given the intention to contribute to a better
management of cultural heritage assets and to prove that these assets could
revive and generate significant social and economic value for the community
they belong to, but beyond, our organization Argjiro, in close collaboration
with the Ministry of Innovation has chosen one of the most important sites of
Albanian Culture the city of Shkodra and their historical museum, in order to
design and implement a contemporary model of management, which may serve as an
example for other cultural heritage sites in Albania.

A European Union funded
Project for the revitalization and digitalization of Albanian Cultural Heritage

In the framework of "Promoting Connectivity of
Internet Broadband in the Accursed Mountain Border Area"  European Union Funded Project,  Argjiro has undertaken  the revitalization and digitalization of
Historical Museum of Shkodra in collaboration with the Ministry of
Innovation  and the Municipality of

has  produced in digital support its
valuable work done on cultural heritage of Shkodra and find new technological
ways of attracting youth in the cultural economy as well as increase the
tourists interest. The experts engaged in the digitalization of  the Historical Museum of Shkodra, have
produced in digital support the artefacts of the Historical Museum of Shkodra
have  elaborated  new technological ways of attracting
and  increasing the tourists interest.
This technological intervention is contributing to the protection and the
promotion of Shkodra cultural values and heritage and will highlight issues,
upgrade the capacities of the managerial staff of the museum and promote the
historical site. 

The Historical Museum of Shkodra (Muzeu Historik i
Shkodrës) was founded in 1949, based on collections gathered by the Jesuits and
Franciscan monks at the end of the XIX-th century, and also on private
collections donated by families of Shkodra.

The museum is housed inside a monumental XIX-th
century building, the massive family house of Oso Kuka, a wealthy middle-class
merchant. The house itself is as interesting as the museum: surrounded by
fortified walls, the building is a typical merchant's home, attesting Shkodra
significant role as a prime merchants' city along the ancient trade route
between the Mediterranean sea and Kosovo.

The Oso Kuka was constructed in 1815, and has been
restored to its old state. Inside, the museum exhibits typically ornate guest
rooms, and a basement with a small archeology exhibition featuring an early
Christian Plate of David, and artifacts from the Greek and Roman periods. In
the garden you'll also find a Roman tomb and a Venetian stone well.

A group of a great experience from Albania and from
Italy have collaborated together on finding new technological ways for the good
management and revitalization of the museum, as well as promoting its values.

Imagine a
museum that welcomes tourists with a captivating art experience.

Imagine an inspiring indoor multimedia monitor where tourists and visitors
can find all information they need on the museum.  Imagine a museum to serve as a hub for
cultural activity in Shkodra. This is the vision driving the plans for Shkodra
Historical Museum that we have implemented. 
This technological intervention has the potential to become the creative
heart of historical town for the Museum's dynamic. We have worked with the
museum staff and the specialist of Ethnographic fund in order to digitize the
fund of the museum and make it interactive, to showcase the creativity in the
region and extend the Museum beyond its walls.

The Museum
has three main sections: the ethnographic fund, the archaeological fund, the
visual arts fund and the library, a complete information about the museum
should be found in their website

The creation
of the website for the museum together with the integration of digital  accessories as The multitouch power ( indoor
multimedia monitor)  and a bilingual
audioguide has  enriched the information
about the Historical Museum of Shkodra and has associated new technological ways
of attracting youth in the cultural economy as well as increasing the tourists

The use of
new technologies for the promotion of this historical site is an added value
for the museum and an important step on the preservation of Albanian cultural

Argjiro a pathway  to  preservation  of the Albanian
Cultural Heritage

Argjiro was created in
2007 in Tirana,  is an Albanian Non
Governmental Organization  that aim to
establish and develop international cultural exchanges, building bridges of
cultural dialogue between Albania, Kosovo, Europe, and Mediterranean area,  to raise the public awareness for the
protection ways of transmissions of different oral cultures part of the
intangible heritage,  to revitalize the
cultural and artistic life in Gjirokastra, and other Albanian sites listed in
the World Heritage Center of UNESCO, like Berati, Butrint etc. Argjiro is
working on the digitalization of Cultural heritage and preservation of the

(Art& Heritage) is another contribution of Argjiro since April 2011, a  bilingual publication, in Albanian and in
English,  a historical and cultural
magazine to promote the Albanian Cultural Heritage and Fine Arts. 

Argjiro  since its creation in 2007 is organizing as
well the international festival "Musical Encounters Between the Two Worlds".
This project is unique in Albania not only because it involves an important
mainstay of arts and culture, namely music, but it especially focuses on a
combination of classical music with traditional music. The Festival aims to
give an impetus to artistic and cultural life in Gjirokastra, Berat, Shkodra,
Tirana,  to help promote tourism, to
promote the town and their cultural heritage by organising periodical
international events there, to offer the public and tourists an entertaining
and educational quality alternative, and to contribute to increased cultural
exchanges between Albania and Europe and the world.

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