The constant development of the Laboratorio Culturale which involves considerable effort from our collaborators, has affirmed itself largely due to the support of the Regione Veneto,and also through socio-cultural youth exchanges. Without this support we would certainly not have obtained the international recognition from UNESCO which places great value on CLACs Laboratorio Culturale.
In defining our projects we thus feel the need to give increasing importance to the role of cultural mediation with other countries. However it was not until December 94 that we finally saw in one of the documents of the Council Administration that they have finally acknowledged the actual situation and have in some way reduced the financial burden imposed on us for the occupation of the spaces which are necessary for us to be able to carry on our activities - this is not to say, however , that the situation has not remained considerably difficult.
The contrast between the projects proposed in our plans for 94 and what we actually managed to carry out shows that although we managed to develop the international role of the Laboratorio, this was at the expense of other activities which we have had to put off to 1995, hoping that we will not be further penalized for occupying essential spaces.
In 1995 we will be participating at the World Congress of FMACU - UNESCO in Romania in honour of the 50th anniversary of UNESCO. CLAC and Club UNESCO Padova have taken on the role of International Secretariat of a project on cultural heritage. Our job involves preparing reports on projects included on the list of Friends of the Treasures of the World, defining their future development and establishing a support network.
Another field in which CLAC will be involved is the network of Young Ecologists of the Mediterranean for whom we function as relay for the upper Adriatic. This involves participating at meetings or congresses, hosting experts and exchanging documentation.
We plan to continue our usual activity of youth exchanges in collaboration with the Regione Veneto and the EEC Youth for Europe programme.
We see the necessity for inclusion on the Internet which may be obtained with the help of university contacts.
We also predict developments in the activity of the Computer Museum and the collection of scientific instruments. The importance of this activity has already been recognised by the university and the material collected will be made available to school teachers and pupils( for specific lessons). This year we will have to catalogue the material so that it can be included in UNESCOs ICOM network.
Money and work will have to be invested in making some of the buildings in the ex-abattoir complex usable. We hope that we can count on the Centro Professionale Edile (Construction School) of Camin who already have a school-building site in the complex.
The Didactic Parks activity with school groups has become well-established. We hope to increase the number of lessons in the park and courses for teachers, as well as the development of such areas on school grounds which we have now been involved in for several years.
Following the research on flora carried out in 94 we are planning a publication which documents the botany of the area and will prove an essential aid to the lessons on the environment.
We shall continue to give support and space to the associations/clubs linked to us and also in general.
Fortunately the other FWT project, the mines of Val Imperina has almost entirely been taken over by Club UNESCO of Agordino, and so will not be such a burden on CLAC. We hope this year to publish the recently completed historico-anthropological research on the miners of the Val Imperina.
The development of the Library on the Environment and Culture of the Veneto area and the International Childrens Library will be closely followed and we hope to find a more suitable space for the latter.
REPORT ON ACTIVITIES IN 1995
Padova, March 6th 1996
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.
Padova 6 March 1996
Unfortunately its not always possible for all of our projects to be carried out as planned - as you can see if you compare our plans for 95 with the final report, so clearly many of the projects have been reproposed for 96.
We have to extend many of our basic plans for 1995 to 1996. As can be seen if the plans for 95 are compared with the report on activity for 96, a series of important projects have not yet been carried out.
CLAC has many new possibilities for development, rising in particular from the collaboration with the Council of Europe and ICCROM, but we will also have to work hard to keep up the standards which won us this European recognition. The City beneath the City project will continue after the competition closes with the creation of an international network concerned with education towards the conservation of cultural heritage.
Another important appointment for 96 is the participation in the world congress in Paris at the beginning of November in occasion of its 50th anniversary.
We are increasingly involved, then, with these important international links we have established, however these require a coherence in the development of the activities which have contributed to our recognition/acknowledgement. Essential to this then is the well-known role as reference point for the free practice of cultural activity even if the price we have paid to obtain this position has been high.
The interventions planned in 95 for the cultural area of the Mediterranean will be part of both these sectors. Essential to this is the greater use of means of communication which can simplifyand reduce the transmission of knowledge, experience and know-how.
With the Council of Europe we will make the most of the opportunities we have for Italian teachers to compare experience with other European teachers, and if possible organize exchanges with groups of teachers.
For all this we are counting, of course on continued collaboration with and support from the Regione Veneto .
The Computer Museum will start to be used for lessons with classes and for direct experimentation.
We foresee an increase in our activity on Environmental Education: courses for teachers, lessons with schoolchildren and summer camps, because the park has now become an important reference point for a type of education which, fortunately, is becoming increasingly accepted in Italy.
We hope that the affiliated associations will benefit from the international contacts we have established.
Besides the normal running and development of the two libraries we hope to create a new library dedicated to scientific culture.