This thematic group of the Netherlands Institute focuses on educational and research activities regarding heritage management issues, cultural management, museums and tourism in relation to cities. Apart of specialized educational activities, research, round tables, discussions and summer universities, the thematic group also supports other multidisciplinary activities related to archaeology, museology, history and social sciences in general. Apart from this, is also supports activities of other organisations such as Europa Nostra, Erfgoed Brabant, etc.
The organization of summer universities is a core activity of this group: undergraduate and post-graduate students have the opportunity to follow classes and seminars in Athens and gain ECTS points. More recently, in 2018, a summer university was launched entitled “Dynamic Heritage: the city on the move” (Dynamisch erfgoed: de stad in beweging) focusing on the relation between cities and heritage (led by the University of Utrecht, Honours College). The participating students attend preparation meetings before the visit to Athens, spend two weeks in Athens and the Netherlands Institute in the summer where they follow lectures and conduct field research and then present their outcomes in Utrecht in October. Until now themes that have been chosen were the planning of alternative tourism routes in Athens, heritage activism and the role of citizens in heritage management and the role of guides as interpreters of the city’s history and identity.
In the past few years another two summer universities have been organized within this thematic group with Dutch universities and other institutions. From 2009 to 2011 the Summer University “Tussen Marmer en Beton” was organized focusing on the relation between heritage management and the city of Athens. The summer university was co-organised with the Research Institute for Culture, Cognition, History and Heritage of the Free University of Amsterdam and Prof. Koos Bosma. From 2014 to 2018 the summer university “Confronting the Classics, the ancient past in modern Rome and Athens” was organized with the Royal Netherlands Institute of Rome (KNIR), the Swedish Institute of Athens (SIA) and the Swedish Institute of Rome (SIR). The participating students followed seminars and attend site visits in Rome and Athens, comparing the two cities regarding narratives and uses of the ancient past, strategies of preservation, reconstruction and musealisation of classical heritage, etc.
Furthermore, special seminars, round tables and discussions have been organized on relevant matters with experts and researchers. In 2015 a special issue of Pharos, edited by Nicholas Karachalis and Ioannis Poulios was published based on the outcomes of discussions held within this group, entitled “Athens: a historic city and modern metropolis” and including articles on various issues related to cultural and tourism management in Athens . The volume is available here.
The thematic group is coordinated by the scientific collaborator of the NIA dr. Nicholas Karachalis.