Cristina Sanna, PhD candidate at the University of Southampton (Faculty of Art and Humanities, Department of Archaeology) is working on a project titled “Exhibiting the Etruscans: museums and the public. A study on the reception and representation of the past”, funded by the Wolfson Foundation and focused on archaeological museums dedicated to the Etruscan civilization.
The project aims to unpack the sometimes difficult relationship between archaeologists, museum professionals and the wider public in order to understand how the Etruscans are represented, interpreted and experienced in the Italian museum context. The theoretical background of the study lays on the concepts of representation and interpretation of the past as produced by trained archaeologists, embracing at the same time themes of reception and interaction between exhibitions and visitors, considering the museum as a space of critical investigation.
Last October Cristina met several visitors at the museum, inviting them to express their thoughts and describe their relationship with the Etruscans both from a cognitive and emotional point of view. The Museum has also been involved through a series of interviews conducted with permanent staff members on topics connected with the collections and the public.