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Report on activities in 1995

Report on activities in 1995


Padova, March 6th 1996

Year 1995 saw a worsening of the economic problems we had to face in 94, which made it very difficult for us to carry on with our activities. However we struggled on and towards the end of the year we saw that the local Administration changed its attitude towards us (in a positive direction).

The International Secretariat of the Project FWT - FMACU - UNESCO took up a lot of our time as we had to prepare three proposals to join the list of FWT for the World Congress in Romania. Contact with Paris was intensified.

Our presentation in 94 at the ICCROM Congress in Rome brought about an unexpected but decisive change in our relationship with the local council of Padova. Due to CLACs experience in the didactic field, and that of the Civic Museums Education Department, Padova was chosen as representative city for Italy in the educational competition and project The City Beneath the City . This pilot project, devised and organised by ICCROM and the Council of Europe, involved schoolchildren in a series of activities in order to familiarise them with the history and development of their city, to raise awareness of cultural heritage. The project involved our close collaboration with the Education Department of the Museum, and the Laboratorio Culturale of the ex-abattoir became a reference point for all the schools in Padova and its province who were involved in the project. We bought the entire collection of English Heritages educational materials and the schools are beginning to make use of it.

The development of our two libraries - on Culture of the Veneto and the International Childrens Library - continued with new acquisitions and donations.

Activity in the field of Environmental Education continued with our usual average of 150 classes of Elementary and Middle School pupils visiting our park and taking part in our laboratories studying nature and doing fieldwork. About 20 teacher training courses were held, recognized by the Provveditorato agli Studi di Padova. From June to September summer camps for children were held for the second time by our Canadian expert.

Our collaboration with the University has continued very positively.A kind donation allowed us to expand our library space. The development of the Computer Museum continued due to the growing collaboration with the university and its research institutes - as well as the CNR, INFN , and some private institutes. With the help of the INFN the Museum obtained a space on the Internet. Scientific instruments of historic importance continued to be acquired and were thus saved from destruction. These two initiatives - Computer Museum and the collection of scientific instruments - are particularly time-consuming due to the type of problems they present: the difficulty of obtaining and then transporting these instruments, identifying the historic use and the anthropological significance of the single elements, and finding suitable spaces to store them. A complete nineteenth-century typographic system has also been donated to CLAC together with its lead and wood characters. We plan to use it with schoolchildren, in particular, in the course of 1996.

Over twenty foreign language courses were held for various languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic, and Italian for foreigners. We held courses at various levels of proficiency and only with very small groups. Through CLAC 35 people went on a study holiday to Ireland.

From June onwards courses on fresco painting and restoration were held in a new space the local council gave us. A course on Calligraphy was also held.

From 22 May to 8 June we participated in the World Congress of FMACU in Bucharest, Suceava and Sinai. Three treasures that we proposed were added to the list of FWT: The Oasis of Chenini-Gabès in Tunisia, The Abbey of Konradsburg in Germany and the medieval village of St. Victor-La-Coste in France. From June 30 to 5 July we went to Avignon, St. Victor-La-Coste and Montpelier to develop our collaboration on conservation issues.

We took part in the exhibition Job-Proscuola at Verona, the congress Youth Exchanges in Europe held in Padova and the congress on Children and Information in Venice and Treviso. From 8 to 15 December we participated in a congress on the Urals in Ecaterinburg where we presented a Russian translation of our FWT text and also the text on the Council of Europes The city Beneath the City project. We received a very warm welcome and about thirty requests for collaboration on education towards conservation.

Youth exchanges continued but in a very reduced form, due to the drastic cuts made by the Regione Veneto. We hosted a group of German musicians to celebrate a decade of exchange activity with Germany and then an Italian group went to Bredbeck.. A member of Club Unesco of Zaire was our guest, once again, for a few months, and since spring we have been hosting a Canadian collaborator who is mainly involved in our activities with children and teacher training courses. Our other guests include: three Hungarian Esperanto students, two Russians, two French men, a young Algerian man who belongs to the network of Young Ecologists of the Mediterranean who has been with us for most of the year and holds the Arabic language courses.

The activities of the various associations that CLAC houses in the park are also important. Evening courses, seminars, public lectures, weekly meetings, workcamps, any kinds of activity are open to anyone who is interested. The rennovation of the building used for popular dance and theatre is nearing completion, thanks to the associations La Tresca and Elcerdoloco. Towards the end of the year a choir group was formed Choir FWT - UNESCO.

We have seen the importance of giving continuity to the new courses which have started so that we can expand and strengthen the cultural reference point that we have become for the city. The many difficulties we have encountered have increased public support for this space we have dedicated to cultural activity.

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