Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

A heuristic model for cultural management - Effie Pappas

A review of the study by Effie Pappas proposing a heuristic model for cultural management for a 'museum of the city' in Volos


Effie Pappas completed a feasibility study for a ‘Museum of the City of Volos' in 2004. The original version was written in Greek. Since the time frame for that study was extremely tight - it had to be completed within 2 months - no time was given to discuss both the context and the aim of such a study. After receiving the assignment from DEMEKAV, Effie Pappas went ahead and applied her knowledge she had gained while living and working in New York. It meant basically that she copied (and pasted) a certain model which she had already developed there and applied it with some modification to the situation found in Volos. Hence she followed an usual cultural pattern prevailing in Greece. It is best described as an effort to imitate models and methodologies thought to be highly successful elsewhere and then impose them upon a Greek specific context considered to be inferior to the leading model. Alone this difference justifies apparently the approach taken.

Vasilis Sgouris of the Municipal Enterprise of Volos did praise the fact that she came to Volos and conducted interviews, in order to prepare for the write-up of the study. He implied the study was not merely an imposed methodology but the outcome based on an attempt to find out what experts and officials at the top were thinking but also what opinions prevailed amongst rank and file people, in short ordinary cultural workers and local citizens. He certified that this had provided her with a sound basis to make a far reaching appraisal and was thereby able to raise issues of relevance for further deliberations about the shape, form and content of the ‘Museum of the City’.

In a second step, Effie Pappas wrote a shorter version thereof in the English language to make it available for the HERMES – Volos meeting Jan. 24 – 26, 2005. This abstract resume of the original feasibility study carries the title: “Strategic Directions and Findings for Volos: Issues to be Tackled for Cultural Management.” As this was really the first document made accessible to the HERMES project (with the working language being English), the subsequent evaluative remarks were possible. It should be added that there were present at meeting in Volos along with others, Burkhardt Kolbmueller and Sebastian Schroeder, coordinators of the HERMES project.

In my appraisal of her study, I wanted to point out what kind of heuristic model for cultural management this entails. For it is linked to an underlying cultural assumption of the study, namely that it is possible to secure and to sustain ‘local identity’ by Volos becoming a little Manhattan. By evoking a vision of the city becoming a ‘melting pot’ similar to the American model, Effie Pappas reaffirmed this notion of wishing to propagate a cultural model being practised already elsewhere i.e. in America and which the Greek side should implement by 'imitation'. From that alone can be concluded that her intention was to further such a cultural development which would allow different cultural identities to merge together. Given however that the 'melting pot' is but a very general model, indeed entails a superficial description of the reality people face in the United States with regards to integration, it could be expected at the very least some questioning thereof and compare it with other models such as the one which is being practised, for instance, in Canada.

The study risks also to be carried away, literally speaking, by many other premonitions about Greek reality, no wonder then, if the study ends with recommendations which are always the same. For Effie Pappas advocates merely "better organization through better management" and links it to the condition "while improving and upgrading marketing approaches". As this avoids saying anything about the content of such a museum, some critical things have to be said about this nearly automatic assumption that all solutions depend upon improvement in managerial competences and a devotion to marketing strategy. That is literally following an overt American model. Typically it tends to end up in over emphasizing public relation exercises, and this independent of the contents a museum has to communicate with.

This critical remark became all the more necessary since the proposal made by Effie Pappas was not only accepted by DEMEKAV but set a certain standard. As an outline of what is expected to be a systematic, equally strategic proposal, it underlines merely a usefulness in terms of an argumentative strategy in need of to come to terms with political reality in Volos. Indeed, any study must be substantial enough to be able to explain what is being proposed when it comes to talk with local politicians, but this should not mean to neglect further going considerations about future development plans for the city. It is always critical for a study to be based on independent knowledge and thereby able to draw attention to what consequences would happen, if certain factors would not be taken into consideration or such factors not included when forming the rationale for a decision in need to be taken about the future of a 'museum of the city'.

1. Feasibility Study of Effie Pappas

1.1 methodological approach

The methodological approach taken by Effie Pappas is that of a ‘feasibility study’ but to avoid any misunderstandings, she states at the outset this study has to be taken as a “the tool which guides the project’s development in terms of concept product design” and therefore is primarily a “market-driven strategic plan”. 1

1.2 road map for decisions

The purpose of such an approach would be that the feasibility study could function as “road map for all subsequent decisions for the Museum’s development and operations.” 2

1.3 reformulation of the brief for the study

As such she reformulates the ‘brief for the study’ into the question whether or not such a museum is feasible for the city as a whole, and if yes, what such a museum would have to fulfil, if it is to become a “part of a greater City Cultural Component”3

1.4 indicative findings

When making her presentation at the HERMES – Volos meeting under the title “Strategic Directions and Findings for Volos: Issues to be Tackled for Cultural Management”, she explained that she wanted to present some “indicative findings, directives and strategies”4 . To understand consequently what her feasibility study of the ‘Museum of the City’ contains, there needs to be known a) what the study deems as being 'feasible' and b) would link such a feasible plan for a museum to an overall sustainable development of not only the city but of the entire region? By feasibility is meant not merely a way of knowing what resources are available to realize a certain model of museum, but what is 'feasible' in terms of the problems a city and its culture face and therefore can be done under these given circumstances, and even constraints? That would open up the study to name as well negative consequences in case the city would be without such a museum. For surely there will have to be confronted at all times such arguments presenting the case that a city can do just as well without having such a museum.

1.5 avoiding mistakes in development

The prime aim of her study was, so the claim, to clear out possible mistakes which can be made right at the outset when setting-up such a museum. Also the study aimed to be more than just a business plan, hence the focus on how the museum can be sustained once set-up. Here it was a crucial matter to see if a self critical appraisal existed if the study was willing and able to make conscious some of the underlying issues connected with the wish to set-up specifically a 'city museum' or a museum of the city.

1.6 target groups

Target groups are named. They include children, youths, elderly and disabled people, but no other specific target group is named e.g. minorities or people with special needs. Instead the study names beside the local population all the rest as ‘newcomers’ to the city, and this regardless when they came, how many of them and where they located themselves in the city. In other words, no distinction was made between refugees of the Asia minor crisis in 1921 and other migrant groups, Roma or just people passing through the city as tourists etc.

Equally the study does not specify any preferred target group in terms of demographic structure. The study assumes instead a homogeneous ‘local’ population and this despite mentioning the existence of attitudes like ‘racialism’ which create 'invisible' borders and sub-divisions within the Volos community. Yet the scope of a museum has surely to be reflected upon in these more differentiated terms to assess precisely its envisioned and 'real' capacity to integrate all these diverse elements and whether or not the museum shall give accessibility to all, including people with special needs.

Some references are made to other communities and therefore the regional dimension seems to be included. For example, Nea Ionia, and Larissa at the overall regional level are mentioned but not the specific tension Volos has towards these other urban entities. For example, Larissa has such regional importance that it is a competitive force for Volos. As a matter of fact, Volos has a strong wish to regain what it has lost in the recent past to Larissa, namely the status of being regional capital.5

1.7 Spatial features

In spatial terms, the study argues that there should be made provisions for play, sports and arts facilities.

This extension of space pertains not merely to the museum but suggests in general terms:

This means in both particular and general terms, there should be included

With following aim:


By looking at the museum from outside, in terms of surrounding area, both access and linkage to the community at large is stressed in terms of open, public spaces containing several aspects:

In short, Effie Pappas translates all of it into needs which should be addressed by the ‘museum of the city’.

2. Some brief comments - the need to uphold an ongoing learning process from previous experiences e.g. CIED project

Volos was the project leader for the ERDF Article 10 CIED (Cultural Innovation and Economic Development - 1997 -99) and had as partners the cities of Palermo, Galway, Cardiff and Leipzig. Many important subjects were touched upon during the life time of that project with alone Palermo engaged in reviving its historical centre. Altogether the project picked up Agenda 21 for sustainable development and modified at the same time this agenda by including cultural sustainability. All cities in the CIED project sought to link city and economic development by learning to refine planning methodologies. This included giving the cultural sector a voice in the decision making process affecting the future development of the city.

But prior to discussing at overall level how such an envisioned model for a museum fits into the cultural landscape of Volos, already something can be said at practical level about all these suggestive uses of space.

A closer examination of the location of the City Museum would reveal immediately a contradiction to the suggested model. For instance, there exists no space in the immediate surrounding of the museum, in order to facilitate outdoor activities. If anything can be undertaken, the decision makers would be advised to apply some specific guidelines and let architects and museum designers develop accordingly some more concrete ideas about use of such a building. A matrix for decision making has been developed especially to facilitate cultural planning and investments in culture for such a purpose.

Right now the plans has it that the city museum shall be located on a street in the Old Town, a street which runs parallel to the railway line. Also a steep hill exists directly behind the building so that no space is available at the back. Equally both sides of the designated building are constrained by adjacent buildings.

As for the interior of the building, the prime structure is predetermined due to having been a former tobacco storage house. One definite disadvantage is that the former wooden structure is no longer visible; instead, it has been cemented over for fear of fire. Presumably only a multiple level complex i.e. different floors designated to house certain periods in the history of the city can fulfil requirements of a museum of the city. 

The building altogether does not remind of the former days when still a storage for tobacco. Rather it is a very neutral building. Still, it may prove to be a good reminder that it was a former storage place since that can be useful for keeping the memories of the city alive. However, the archive of such a museum has to be linked not only to the present day population, but as well to the Greek diaspora i.e. Greeks from Volos living in Australia, USA, Canada etc. A networking between museums would make that connection possible i.e. the Hellenic museum in Chicago has conducted interviews to capture stories of Greeks who immigrated to the United States as depicted by Marie Iliou in her documentary film: 'The Journey'.

Unclear is why the study suggests multiple uses of spaces. Why link such a museum to such general features as sports and leisure activities, as if the museum has to fit immediately into main stream culture? Also it is not entirely clear what general conditions must be fulfilled, in order to be a viable museum of the city? Must it be adopted by the local population, and therefore they would have contributed to its collections by making donations, or will the curators conceive first of all a series of exhibitions to draw attention to often unknown aspects of the history of Volos? Already DIKI have shown some remarkable exhibitions which suggest there is a tremendous potential. If you add to this inputs from the university, in particular artists and professors like Maria Papadimitreou, then it can be expected such a museum would take on a dynamic of its own and could sustain itself by being far more innovative and forward looking than what sometimes local culture would agree with. Otherwise there is at risk to subscribe the museum to fulfilling the role of upholding one or two local narratives and a general myth while supporting merely local patriotism. Rather the museum should differentiate between various components of local culture and at the same time strengthen its capacity to enter dialogue with other cultural influences and ideas. That open horizon is a prerequisite to be innovative and that means as well to follow through in cultural adaptation processes in need to be gone through but without risk to lose local identity.

As to what should determine the interaction of the museum with to the overall setting, as defined by Volos as a city, consideration has to be given in a much more detailed way than the case of Effie Pappas' study among other things the prevailing notion of culture. The museum should not follow necessarily to the prevailing narrative e.g. about the Argonauts, for local people have multiple stories in need to be reflected upon and retold. And all of them can and shall deviate heavily from any official version. This contrast in narratives should be brought out by a museum of the city.


   Church in Volos beside the sea

Definitely a city museum needs to be observant as to its location within time as indicated best by the flow of people and ideas in Volos. Alone the local atmosphere in Volos is already of great interest. Located beside the sea and the Pelion mountains in the background, the city wraps around the large bay forming a natural harbour but also a division according to seasonal influxes. More activities take place on the one shore line during the winter months while during the summer activities are relocated to places across the bay i.e. further away from the city but still within sight. When stepping into this local context, one senses immediately that here prevails something which is very different from what prevails in other parts of Greece. By that is meant something that stands out not only in contrast to Athens or to Thessaloniki, but retains some unique local flavours not easily to be identified. This is because many people love to live in Volos and therefore expressions thereof are more often multi-complex i.e. not to be reduced to and identified by single categories or an oversimplified image. Rather local life seems to exist within a different time mode, even if at times it hovers in the shadows of local political conflicts and various other factors influencing public life not only in Volos, but in Greece e.g. the Orthodox church and the historical illusion of a continuity without change in identity since the Ancient Past.

As this entails many factors making up time, spaces and local stories, there is at risk to moribund culture if the city museum is closed off by a strict managerial approach. The latter does not take by definition into consideration the complexity of local, regional and international aspects of culture, especially not since merely market orientated driven. If the museum would be subjected to a managerial concept derived from the American marketing model, it would not do any justice, for example, to this other and often very intricate relationship between culture and economy.

In other words, such a heuristic managerial model would be unable to come to terms with local complexities and at the same time not able to support mediation efforts between local cultures and the so-called outer world. Precisely the outsider is kept outside by claims he would not know the local culture, and therefore by definition this leads to a closed local market. As this goes hand in hand with local politics and the way jobs but also public resources are secured for mainly private purposes, the collective goal such as cultural, social and economic cohesion of the entire community is at risk to be neglected. That means more than mere contradictions and cannot be glossed over by appeals to a form of local patriotism.

Culture requires fore mostly a consistency over time, in order to work through all contradictions and that means as well upholding an active memory base so as to allow a learning out of previously made experiences. To this has to be added that redemption over time, a kind of reconciliation with what happened in the past, is required if social peace is to prevail over time in the community. It means a museum has to strengthen these abilities to resolve long stand standing disputes and provide a base for further clarification about pending issues. They can be handled differently once a deeper human understanding of these conflicts can be added to all local communication processes and thereby ensure the cultural dimension can be articulated at any time. For the cultural process itself reflects to what extent the city as such can be experienced by all as an entry into a creative process called living a full life, and therefore glad to be alive. Expressions thereof will give vitality to future visions.

Consistency over time is important for another reason. There has to be maintained a continuity over time best done by a museum keeping an updated archive so that the traces people live behind are documented. These traces make up the living history of the people themselves.

2.1 Cultural impact studies instead of feasibility studies

By asking for a feasibility study, DEMEKAV continues along traditional lines of assumed rationality when issuing studies as if the same methodology applies whether dealing with an engineering project or with a cultural matter like the ‘museum of the city’. Exactly this assumption that the methodology used by feasibility studies is applicable even when it comes to cultural matters has been challenged by the CIED project.

At the outset of the HERMES project, attention was drawn to this other methodology of Cultural Impact Studies. Since it was one of the outstanding outcomes of the CIED project with Volos being the project leader of this Article 10 – ERDF project, it raises the question of consistency with regards to what types of studies DEMEKAV continues to issue. The Final Report of CIED includes reference to the ‘Good Practice Manual’. The latter contains specific guidelines when it comes to a city negotiating with potential inward investors. For instance, the Investment Company overseeing the refurbishment of the former Cardiff coal harbour made the experience after joining CIED that by demanding potential investors to take culture into consideration, many departed or did not make a bid with the main reason given that culture is too complex. However, those investors who remained made much better offers, qualitatively speaking.

Always there is a need to be careful what impact upon local cultures potential 'inward investments' have. The CIED experience attests that if local cultures are to be respected i.e. negative impacts to be avoided, then any brief for potential investors must name this as one of the prime preconditions. It means that the cultural impact of any investment has to be outlined and described. Consequently part C of the Good Practice Manual pertains to the tool of ‘Cultural Impact Studies’.

Since CIED showed what link there exists between economy and culture, a link to be found by using culture to refine planning methodologies and practices, it has become an important task to upgrade as well the urban agenda of every city. This includes an initiative by Mayor Orlando from Palermo, insofar as he asked in the European Parliament for the creation of a special DG within the European Commission, a DG which gives cities a greater voice in European programs. Right now the DG overseeing the structural fund is designed only for regions, thus an own Commission for cities would make a major difference in how Europe relates to the most immediate level of governance. After all, it is always maintained that mayors are more directly linked to citizens of Europe and that the majority of people live in cities. Consequently an independent DG at European level for cities would alter the European interaction defined right now much more by regions assuming semi national roles while they sideline the real factors of economic and cultural developments, namely cities.

The only European project which seems to recognize the importance of cities fully in terms of culture is the European Capital of Europe project. Of interest is that as of late the regional factor is becoming more pronounced e.g. Lille 2004. This trend, if continued, would mean greater recognition shall be given to sprawling cities, insofar as boundaries between a city and a megapolis or entire region has become more fluent or interconnected over time. Still, administrative borders defined for the sake of various levels of governance, lag continuously behind. Often administrative units do not reflect the need for a new type of governance. The latter should be based on cultural consensus and give therefore to the cultural sector a voice in the overall decision making process and in how the urban agenda is set. In turn, that would heed and respect much more what defines the basic characteristics of an area (local, urban, regional) and what is needed to sustain not merely the entire infrastructure in view of a shifting tax base, but also how to maintain the social and cultural cohesion of the entire area while respecting all the differences within.

Coming back to the methodological aspect, Michael D. Higgins recommended during the CIED conference held in Leipzig 1998, that ‘cultural impact studies’ should be used in future by every city. For it matters when artists and active members of the cultural sector have a voice when city planners and others deliberate about any future development scheme. Culture cannot be excluded in this process of deliberation. This position by Michael D. Higgins says quite clearly that the issue of culture and therefore of cultural heritage cannot be left alone to traditional techniques deployed to arrive at decisions. Culture is simply more than what a study of buildings could take into consideration or of what it takes when it comes to building roads.

Culture is in need of a methodology capable of answering aside from the economic side what would be its role, a role not to be reduced to merely the task of any 'creative industries’, for what constitutes the invisible, intangible and qualitative side of human activities is not the same as an economic use of culture. Exactly war times show what it means to loose any cultural orientation. Repeatedly people and more so soldiers who have been engaged in war, they experience a loss of human empathy and therefore cannot imagine any more what the others need and fear. Once over alienated from themselves as human beings, they have no longer the capacity to engage themselves in active memory work and thereby are unable to uphold a language needed to address the 'human self-consciousness' (Marx). Also they will be unable to imagine the future and therefore cannot anticipate what tasks lie ahead or what measures are needed to bring about a just society. Instead reality will be taken for granted or as a given i.e. unchangeable like a wall which cannot be removed, and this despite the experience of the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989.

Culture gives orientation to economic development, not the other way around. There is the added value of the Mediterranean cultures which had always the economy embedded in their household and therefore orientated activities towards social needs. It is the fault line of the Atlantic tradition that separates the economy from culture and makes the latter dependent upon the former, as if such a reversal of values would facilitate common life. But once everything is reduced to mere commercial self interests, market institutions can no longer sustain life. They do not provide any sustainable orientation for the future. This is because the innovative process depends very much upon the cultural horizon remaining open for new ideas and people being willing to learn out of experience. No substantial cultural development is readily available. Rather it requires hard work but which is too often not recognized e.g. what does it take to learn a language well! Also the commercial drive to more financial success stories is misleading as a truthful life is a direct outcome of lived through experiences. The latter cannot be brought about by public relations, advertising strategies and suggestive models of desired life patterns. Rather the deeper questions of life requires an acknowledgement and a readiness to step into the unknown and still trust the senses to perceive what options exist when deciding upon future paths of developments. And as this pertains to human relationships, it matters how they are affected by what one is doing.

Already economic structures that look only at the profit side and consumption of things will alienate not only individuals but entire groups, and therefore leave them in a waste land or even worse without any values in life. Consequently Michael D. Higgins asked at the CIED conference held in Leipzig 1998 what kind of city is wanted: a city of consumers which excludes all other kinds of people and their cultural identities or one which is inclusive and open to cultural diversity?

CIED was funded by the European Commission to further a double purpose, namely to understand how culture can help to create jobs while safeguarding at the same time cultural identities. Aware that this entails a paradox, the European Commission named explicitly over commercialization to be a threat to cultural identities and therefore to cultural diversity in Europe.

Formulated on that background of having to heed this double need, CIED worked on the basis of cultural consensus as basis of all decisions while applying cultural impact studies, in order to find out and to anticipate what people can uphold i.e. sustain over a long period of time. This meant applying the methodology beforehand and not ad hoc, that is once the project has been realized. What people can uphold, is, therefore, a crucial criterion of cultural sustainability, and it means to examine this not merely in physical, but equally in intellectual and participatory terms. CIED followed five objectives, one of which was “to learn how to use but not abuse culture” (Brendan Kennelly).8

It should be clear from the outset that the methodology for ‘Cultural Impact Studies’ involves setting up and developing a qualitative evaluative framework, so that it is possible to anticipate the impact of intended projects. Such a framework is not taken into consideration by a feasibility study which operates on wrong assumptions about culture. Above all, a feasibility study is not self reflective enough of the values it seeks to propagate and which are pre-determined by economic terms. Insofar as such a study does as well a cost-benefit analysis, it will be orientated towards answering the question but what maximum benefit can be gained out of the project such as a museum of the city, and this at a minimum of costs on behalf of the city. Consequently in this rationale is no room or consideration given for quite a different kind of investment in culture, namely what it takes for people to become creative over time.

Feasibility studies adopt simply a very reductionist approach until culture can be inter exchanged with almost any other kind of activity, whether now in the construction or transport industry or in the industrial sector. Alone the term 'creative industry' betrays what this policy categorization suggests and wishes to apply, namely not cultural but industrial like policy. This is because the intangible aspect is so much more difficult to come to terms with. But it does not matter that culture is not taken to mean merely buildings or material objects but entails people and what human relationships can be formed over time and this in all kinds of historical and global settings. Culture defines and re-defines itself constantly. This is because living in a continuum of time the present is altered steadily and thus the relationship to the recent or immediate past alters once it takes on the form of a dialogue with the past. The dialogue makes a difference to being determined simply by the past. Germany after 1945 had to learn to mourn before it could regain a reasonable measure of trust in not only its political institutions, but the people in themselves. Hence living consciously is not easy to come by, but it can be understood as working on a sense for the continuity of life. This includes not forgetting people as this is directly linked to giving recognition as to what they have contributed to make life possible. Since human recognition in a most substantial sense is perhaps most difficult to attain, and many artists suffer precisely because of that, reflections of the past have to identify and bridge the many breaks caused by all kinds of intervention and disruptions. They are all due to a lack of emancipation from many given circumstances: wars, economic recessions, human failures. It takes a huge effort for people and a city to redeem itself with the past and ascertain a good basis for future development by learning how to treat its 'cultural heritage' as a living evidence of that past. That includes an ability not to neglect ancient wisdoms while being able to listen to advise when trying to find and to decide upon a certain path into the future.

Of deep concern is, therefore, the fact that Jorgios Gangas in charge of the planning division at DEMEKAV derided the experiences of CIED with the remark: “forget about CIED, we want you to answer the questions as we see them now!” Such a typical managerial position expressed as a readiness to forsake the past out of an overzealous readiness to embrace only the new, would spell the end of a learning process. Once such a position would become the official stand of DEMEKAV, it would deprive the Municipal Enterprise and thereby the city of Volos of the memory base it has and which is needed to become consistent in terms of own cultural initiatives.

2.2 ‘road map’

Use of such a metaphor indicates a highly exaggerated image is being created as if Volos faces similar problems as Israelis and Palestinians when it comes to seeking a peace agreement in the Middle East.

By making deliverables of studies into a prerequisite for giving support for ideological and political arguments, such a demand will miss either the contents of any future study or else distort findings until they fit a certain purpose. 9 Only if things will be valued independently, even if not in agreement with initial assumptions and political positions in favour of this and not that, then studies presented shall be considered forthwith in an open ended and fair manner. Right now, and after the recent experience at the HERMES – Volos meeting, there was at first serious reasons to doubt that this is possible but in a later stage this was rectified by the briefs given to Hatto Fischer to conduct two separate studies about one, new use of media by museums and two, successful cultural planning strategies.

Thus over time another kind of communication process had to be entered, in order to clarify the nature of expectations in an attempt to bring about studies in consideration of what has been said before.

In stating that, it should be clear no future study is expected to question everything. Rather any study offers the opportunity to clarify further how will it be possible to proceed in a most responsible, that is thought through way? But given the negative feed back, namely a different approach would make it difficult to work together with the others and to fit into the local scheme of things and interests, this entailed a huge challenge as it meant difficulties to obtain information and to link up with the overall thought process under way in Volos.

Since a thorough study reflects a thought process, prior to delivering a final outcome, reference to and a way to participate in this thought process has to be presented. It requires a constant updating as new experiences are made. Equally of importance is that the study maker is kept informed about what is happening within the cultural space constituted by the city of Volos. Too often other studies are made which are just as important but no horizontal linkage is made at some point in time for purpose of complementarity, cross-checking or working out why findings differ so greatly in the final end. Moreover a study is like giving the best possible advice. This is best done by presenting various options for policy makers so that they can make up their mind if they opt for one of these options and known what consequences but also advantages this will have in comparison to the others. More specifically in this case the argument for the one over another option will rest, argumentatively speaking, on what cultural impact this particular one will have. Insofar as it should facilitate the decision making process, provided there is a willingness at political and institutional level to take on complexities, it will be equally crucial how is met the demand for some immediate i.e. tangible in relation to an intangible outcome. Given that there exist always some limitations to the extent to which things can be bent to fit the political form required, most difficult will be for the study to make a case and retain at the same time the status of independence from the political will.

The political will can be a kind of censorship. It can be expressed already by a declaration to be will to understand only certain things and therefore what shall be considered as acceptable proposals or recommendations implies that the political process of decision making itself shall not be questioned. This can put the study already into the awkward position of being a mere acquiescence to the system of governance and only then recognized if it provides legitimacy to continue doing very much the same as before. There is also a difference not only between institutionally bounded and public prompted thought processes, but also between the political and the so called public spheres to make a difference especially with regards to participation by citizens in the decision making process. A study may advocate, for example, a citizens' consultation with regards to the design of the museum, but cannot make this into a precondition for any further reflection or outcome. That would be the political process itself. Heeding that difference it does matter, however, if the study is delivered in the final end within a public forum so that everyone interested can be informed about the recommendations or if the study is subject to an internal review prior to it being released at a given time to the public. Along this makes a difference in what shall enter the official protocol as to what has been said by the study maker as to findings and what were the further going reflections of those who are the prime recipients of such a study. Altogether it must be clear that a study is an inquiry process which has to be completed within a given time frame but as a thought process can become a part of an ongoing deliberation, insofar as all participants are aware many more factors are in need to be taken further into consideration. Among the many other factors, there is as well the regulatory i.e. legal framework in need to be observed when a city wishes to set up a new museum. And even more crucial is what kind of recognition is being sought from other museums and the wider public that this has the making of a promising museum.

There are many other formal requirements any study must fulfil. By definition, all cultural deliberations need openness and practical wisdom. Consequently awarding studies should not be reduced to a power game of ‘divide and rule’ with one party not knowing what the other is doing, but allow for this participation in an open ended thought process.

2.3 Brief for such a study

There is no evidence that DEMEKAV gave for the feasibility study by Effie Pappas a brief in written form. 10

Such a brief would require the taking into consideration other studies that shall be undertaken on the same object: the museum of the city, but commissioned by other bodies of the city’s institutions. For instance, it is known that DIKI has commissioned a study about what exhibitions such a museum should house. In another study, architects are involved when it comes to the restoration of the building selected for this purpose in the Old Town.

According to Effie Pappas' own account some guidelines existed but it is unclear when and by whom they were issued. By guidelines are meant, for example, Aegli Dimiglou’s stipulation that the museum shall be operated and managed by not more than four people.

As said already the time frame for the study was very tight and posed a huge challenge for Effie Pappas who undertook nevertheless the task. The need to have such a study ready in time was linked to the wish of DEMEKAV to submit a request for additional money from the Social Fund.

To what extent the study is undertaken within the framework of the HERMES project is not entirely clear. The most practical answer would be partially since it relates to other activities undertaken by DEMEKAV as Municipal Enterprise of the City. Generally speaking, DEMEKAV is devoted to furthering development in Volos, but if not directly linked to the HERMES project, then the legal and therefore funding base for this study changes.

In absence of a brief outlining what the study has to take into consideration when examining possible options, some other references can be invoked. For instance, Peter Higgins from Landdesign Studio in London would say that this way of commissioning studies poses already a huge challenge. As a matter of fact, it creates a nearly impossible situation for anyone who has to carry out the study. 11

No wonder that the study reformulates the question while switching from analysis to “should”-sentences or ready made recommendations which confuse organizational questions with management or marketing related services.

A far greater weakness of the study is that it tends to make many generalizations about the potential relationship between the museum and the city and the region as a whole while evoking constantly some cliché images about Greece, in particular to its apparently inefficient bureaucratic order, and all because of an apparent lack of proper management and efficiency. It is, therefore, not clear what the study can reveal when it is already driven by such a conclusion? In reality, empirical findings about poor managerial structures due to bureaucracy were not offered, but it reflects a generalized political assumption about Greece. Once that becomes an explosive mixture mixture of political premonitions and value judgements made possible by way of transfer from the American context to the Greek situation, then neither cultural differences shall be taken into account nor the truth of the matter. As a matter of fact, Vasilis Sgouris as director of DEMEKAV has proven over and again to have a highly visionary, equally innovative approach to things and can make things work in the long run due to an outstanding commitment which holds over time and better than any formal contract. This means he can take into account difficulties of reaching a goal and will embrace fully the notion of any study being more a contribution to such a thought process than to reach within a given time a final outcome. As a matter of fact his key insight is to use the cultural heritage of Volos as a basis to enter the next cultural adaptation process, in order to find an own, far more suitable answer to the question at hand. In the case of a city museum, the question would be but what shall form its existence over time and thereby bring about an impulse for other investments not necessarily from the public but rather private sector to follow suit. It is a visionary approach as to what it takes to develop things further while able to give the time needed for things to mature.

Lewis Mumford had a simple answer to the question but why is a museum of the city needed: such a museum is an admission by the city that life within is too complex to be organized well, hence a memory base in the form of such a museum is required. Its role would be to high light all the gaps and missing elements, and which could have played a role in making a difference in the city's development, had people, politicians, the media, private sector etc. not looked at that time in the wrong direction but heeded much more other factors. It is, therefore, a kind of retrospect which would allow a learning out of past mistakes while reminding those in the present that it is a constant that important things are overlooked and only much later their real importance realized.

This degree of complexity and incompleteness is not taken into account by the study Effie Pappas prepared for Volos. Instead reference is made over and again to the overall development of the city in which the museum ought to play a decisive role. The key assumption behind such a holistic approach is that the interaction or interrelationships between parts and whole of the museum are known and no matter the content, it will not have any bearing upon the relationship of the museum as a whole to the city and region. Consequently the study negates content analysis for the sake of overt judgements. Rather than follow up any interest as to what the museum shall contain, and this in being concerned with what details will make a true difference to be not just any city museum, but the city museum of Volos, the study is primarily focused on how the museum shall function as a whole i.e. what services it will manage to offer, and this under a certain managerial concept. The justification for such an approach is the claim that the “museum’s development is not an isolated cultural entity” but a part of the entire city.

It follows that as a measure of success the study would need to make an assessment as to the impact such a museum would have upon the municipality, its people and upon the wider region. It is interesting to note that the study identifies as a most specific priority the need to identify what ‘impact’ such a museum will have upon the city’s development? Needless to say, much would depend on how the contents are shown and thereby how the city’s development over time was presented, interpreted and told. Unfortunately the study does refer to the ‘museum line’ having to be a concept of the narrative. More importantly would be how local people come to identify themselves with what the museum is able to convey, narratively speaking. Given the fact that this narrative part is completely missing in the study, it is difficult to say what kind of city development it will reflect and thereby have an impact upon as a city museum shall evolve over time.

2.5 Clearing out mistakes right from the beginning

In order to avoid some basic mistakes, it should be clear from the outset that

Furthermore consultation and informing all others involved in the HERMES project about ongoing work is self understood, but rarely practised. Often local or particular discussions do entail valuable dimensions for others thus the art of communication is to allow for participation even if not present. Findings of any study should be considered as part of a collective work in progress and contribute to an open reflective process. This is said in light of a high risk that current practices can lead to such a work style which remains exclusive of the others. Difficulties in bringing together various results and integrate them within the overall scheme of things as envisioned by HERMES is to be expected. This is because very few people have the capacity to synthesize different approaches and to work with other methodologies so as to value different viewpoints when quite different results become known. The coordination of research in need to be undertaken requires, therefore, a theoretical framework with clear reference to WP 2 of the HERMES project, if a cohesive whole is to be delivered at the end of the project's life time.

Instead of taking an integrated approach and wait for results of the other studies to show some different aspects of the same phenomenon, namely a museum of the city, there is an added risk of rushing ahead with one study and to declare its findings as valid premise for all further going negotiations. However, there needs to be upheld a caution to establish foregone conclusions and be too easily satisfied with whatever may emerge out of the first best approach taken. Rather there is a need to avoid that immediate results override other considerations, especially if not sufficient time has been given to the other studies to clarify terms, objective and basic assumptions.

Culture as such expresses a need to discover some commonality in all the diversities prevailing at local level and which makes up the life of a city. Without letting cultural references mature in terms of this creative diversity, a prime cultural consensus shall not emerge about what such a museum should stand for. Instead the thought process and further going deliberations shall be closed off before any good discussion about initial findings could begin to challenge the most basic assumption about culture insofar as the latter is embedded in a 'cultural self understanding' in need to be reflected upon in terms of that there can be no such 'self understanding'. Assumptions and cultural premises are set values which articulate themselves within a certain environment, but they are neither given or absolute. The studies must depart from the premise that the only self understanding can be that there is no self understanding and thus explore further these cultural components. A positive challenge of these basic assumptions would have also to avoid an orientation along an ontological definition of culture especially if it is linked to 'well being' as if culture can be equated to 'being healthy', for that would set a norm as to what is not healthy and even considered to be a threat to one's own cultural identity. Naturally the challenge should be done in a careful way. By entering a creative process, it would mean the study takes on the form of a cultural exploration as what would be best practice in this case when deciding about the concept of a future museum of the city.

Over simplified said, if the initial study requires but an affirmation of its findings, then anyone who would either question or criticize them risks to be identified almost automatically as belonging to the opposition. Yet the intellectual discourse needed to advance an idea about a museum follows quite different structures and requires a differentiation to which no justice would be done if subjected to mere either/or choices. That iterative process would not allow the working through of some basic contradictions.

Culture and criticism are linked artistically by posing impossible demands with resulting measures of the tasks ahead a way to mediate between a self critical concept of a museum and what is possible to be realized. The compromise should be known in what is left out for now but by holding onto this impossible demand, the nature of the museum will be openly directed towards upholding an awareness of its own incompleteness. That stance can counter effectively any criticism that the museum left out elements or was not open enough right from the start to still other suggestions. At any juncture in time there can be appraised only so many ideas. Hence a study should provide an open platform to remain open for what cannot be known at the moment. Yet it seems instead of opening up a discourse, the study by Effie Pappas appears to recoil like a snake ready to bite anyone who disagrees with this managerial and marketing approach.

In retrospect it can be said the study had a weak argumentative basis and could not be translated into a further going strategy to solicit further arguments in favour of its findings. Instead the study was used in a way that arguments ended up in a col-de-sac and therefore the idea of a museum for the city never realized. One reason for that was that the study did undermine any attempt to reflect culture as a need for a far more sophisticated understanding as to what a ' museum of the city' entails.

Basically the approach taken by the study to culture revealed certain limitations as already implicit in the semi official guidelines given by DEMEKAV:

Given the position taken so far by Effie Pappas, her study can best be described forthwith as the ‘heuristic model of cultural management’. Since this seems to have been adopted by DEMEKAV as lead model to be used in all further negotiations about the future of this project within the scope of the city of Volos, it is obvious that any future study must challenge these assumptions as they would drive things to wrong pre-conclusions.

2.6 involvement of local people

Since involvement of local people is mentioned explicitly by the study, participation in the planning process for such a museum becomes crucial. Altogether the form-content relationship, or what goes into what kind of museum, is part of a complex identity building process. This needs to be understood.

First of all, the creation of a ‘museum of the city’ has to be understood as an explicit wish of the local population to have the story of the city as it has evolved over time be interpreted and told in a way so that they can identify themselves with that. This must not be in its entirety but parts must allow for various forms of accessibilities to different parts of the population, so as to ensure the narrative of the museum upholds not merely a legend or a myth, but is a lively entity ready to unfold whenever there is a further going interaction with the museum. Participation has to be defined and make possible, structurally speaking and study wise, in a way which does justice to this diversity.

Then the museum will have to be able to present a significant part of that story. Being telling and presenting a story there is a difference in use of means and what are especially the tangible aspects to substantiate the story. For purpose of the inner communication process of the museum a concept and argumentative strategy has to be found. Attention must be paid as to how a museum can overcome the risk of being one sided or over emphasizing certain aspects while leaving out other, but equally crucial elements.

Always there tends to be adopted a highly selective, indeed even prejudiced viewpoint. It may even correlate to a prevailing view of the world (Weltanschauung) and substantiate as Kant put it the concepts in use. This comes to mind especially when reference is made to local people and local culture. As this is often articulated as if self-understood, care has to be taken how the different viewpoints which are inherent in any local culture, are being articulated and given support by whatever the museum decides to exhibit. For that can mean already a certain way to typify a certain period of time but which can become in retrospect mere cliché images of these former times.

Also what happens beyond the city's borders, but which has influenced later the development of the city, that must also be shown. It is an interconnectivity which becomes more complicated when going from geography to economical history and from there on to movements of people and what cultural values they carry with them through different periods of time. In art history it was already a huge dispute what categories to use when attempting to classify different art works and expressions of a certain time period e.g. Renaissance, Enlightenment, Neo Romanticism etc. A city museum must classify and typify things within different time frames and categories and still be able to link up with what other city museums and their system of categories convey, in order to be able to compare and to connect.

Participation of people is usually referred to legitimize any process. This includes as well the rhetoric politicians love to use but who are mindful not to include the people in the exact nature of the decision making process when it comes to hard core issues. Any set up of a museum has to be mindful about that and and become entangled in vested i.e. political interests to propagate just one particular narrative of the city. A comparison with national museums can reveal how such narratives turned into myths can legitimize certain social structures linked to subtle ways of how power is being upheld and almost per definition becomes a kind of inheritance claim by certain parties over time. Again a museum must be mindful to show the conflicting parties and what lies in the interests of the city.

Here then one specific problem has to be addressed: the tendency for local culture to be a closed one. Without true participation, local culture needs to be confronted and be opened up, in order to overcome those local/foreign influences as if the city were to hover in a semi colonial state. For the claim to be only a patriot if acting in terms of local interests means as a general rule to be free to determine the negotiation terms with the outside forces showing an interest in the city. Along those lines the daily discourse shall pre-determine negatively all discussions and the setting of terms. If that schizophrenia local / international interests is not overcome in a positive way, then viewpoints and arguments accepted shall only be those which tend to strengthen an already established myth or legend about the city and not question the practices linked to claims that this is done in terms of not local interests but in the interest of the city as an open ended concept of living and working together. The latter entails that grasp of a vision of a city at the foothills of the Pelion mountains and close to the sea.

It becomes even more critical when the study recommends that the museum must be able to ‘please’ the visitors, if it is to attract them, as if such an approach would be a sure road to success. Instead such an affirmative orientated logic would keep for sure local people trapped in their own self created mythologies and not give them a chance to come into contact with further going, equally self critical examinations of themselves. This is only possible if the museum presents the narratives of the city within a larger cultural context of a well curated exhibition about the city as shown by the museum. And this would mean to think about the dialectic between permanent and temporary exhibition possibilities so as to ensure different stories are brought out over time.

Any tendency to transform museology into an ideology has to be avoided. An open minded approach is not compatible with shows of patriotism or even nationalist acclamations. Rather the museum should work together with artists and local people who can develop stories out of often neglected or many a times overlooked items since they had until then no significance as to how representations of different factors determine who plays what role in society. Michel Foucault revealed in his book 'les mots et les choses' (the order of things) how even a painter placing himself in the middle while doing a portrait of the king who just enters at the side the room reflects already a shift of power. Such a detail needs to be perceived in order to demonstrate how changes over time indicate themselves well before everyone realizes this change is going to happen e.g. going from a feudal to a liberal order. All this can be done best by the city museum supporting courageous curators who do not aim to please people, but rather seek to ensure self made assumptions are not affirmed but ‘de-masked’ positively. A successful museum would work on the assumption by allowing for different reflections and new ways to underline nuances to depict how even only 'self understanding' thought to be self evident changes over time, that this would give further impulses to an overall creative process carrying the city forward.

As a matter of fact, an uncritical reading of the history of the city would be the best way to have a boring museum. This would be especially the case, if the museum would not touch upon controversies and conflicts prevailing at local-regional level and which have affected people's lives, even to the point that some of them decide to leave the city behind. What counts is to show a human understanding of these conflicts often or not remaining for ages unresolved. Yet without such a dose of realism while reviewing all the tragic components of Greek history, there would be missed out as well the showing of how these events are all intertwined with developments in the world.

For instance, the fact that Volos had the reputation of being a left wing city made the Right Wing governments and administrations of Greece be very strict with Volos. They were extremely interventionist and therefore limited for a long time the city’s abilities to take care of itself. After the civil war (1945-48), there was installed, for instance, a kind of military planning which left a deep imprint on the lay-out of the city. Since it takes time for a city to re-organize itself and to correct these structural mistakes made in the past, a museum can serve as an important time bridge and compass to facilitate both an emancipation from the past and a search for a truer identity. Here Volos has gained a lot of good experiences in European projects on how best to deal with cultural heritage, and this by learning how to combine the old with the new, in order to form a new continuity in time.

There are, for instance, some highly successful models of restorations of former tobacco buildings in Volos. One example is the former Tsalapatas brick factory. In not being really sure what would constitute a viable entity, the mixture attempted between museum, work places, restaurants and music hall at Tsalapatas is a solution which can be discussed. A prime short coming was, however, predictable insofar as artists were left out when seeking to realize a concepts on how to use that former industrial space and the industrial heritage which had remained on site i.e. the machinery brought from Belgium to produce the brick.

Presumably Aegli Dimoglou, director of DIKI, meant it sincerely when she stated that ‘the museum of the city’ should be treated more as ‘an open space to show examples of how many things took place in due course of time without wishing to carry forward only one viewpoint cast upon one and the same incidence or decision taken’. How to convey such a plurality of viewpoints within a given space of the museum, that is then the main question. (Note: Here reference can be made to another discussion about space of industrial heritage and how artists would envision making use thereof – see Use of space by museums and Industrial heritage - Hatto Fischer )

Since this expresses just one of many possible approaches, it should not be forgotten what Peter Higgins pointed out in his lecture as being most essential when deciding about the nature of any museum: “the need to know what the museum has in its archive, in order to know what to unpack and make it become a part of the exhibition since that will determine largely the story to be told by what means.” What is available, what not, and how can this archive once started be enriched over time, defines then the work of the museum. For after the opening the up-keep of the archive will be most crucial, if the museum is to sustain its critical memory work and thereby is capable to fulfil its mission.

Consequently the need to identify what parts of the story are still missing, and this in the context of wishing to learn from the past, that would have to be stated and bridged retrospectively by the museum. It can be done by re-creating imaginary solutions when looking at past events but they need to be told just as how things took place i.e. without any beautification or distortion in retrospect. In philosophical terms, telling the story as it took place gives a chance to redemption to work over time. Reconciliation with the past is a crucial element to sustain peace in the present, or to ensure conflicts and problems are named, but in doing so in the belief that solutions can be found even by disagreeing. In retelling the story how it was, it might give to the ones of the present time some insights into possible solutions for the future. Learning from the past does mean to make sure that the same mistakes are not repeated. The story of the city of Volos should be told in such a way that it will keep the imagination alive and the knowledge of reality so profound and equally so deeply convincing that this is the story of Volos, that it can open doors to doubts and even still further going inquiries about the past in relation to ongoing changes in the present. Here modern media could facilitate the recreation of the missing parts and in making the narrative become more accessible to a wider audience in order to ensure a much wider form of participation than what can be foreseen at this moment.

2.7. spatial dimension of a museum's development

The study makes no specific appraisal of the already selected building for ‘the museum of the city’ or an analysis of specifications in terms of architectural design, location and linkage to Volos overall, in order to see if the spatial demands can be fulfilled by such a building, given an envisioned museum for the city.

For instance, no mention is made in the English version of the study that the ‘museum of the city’ is located inside the Old Town vis a vis the railway track and station, thereby cut off from the other part of the city.

Also no mention is made of the vital linkage between the designated building for the ‘museum of the city’ and the already restored former brick factory Tsalapatas and which houses a museum of industrial heritage. As this is a part of the city’s history, it demands a location in time i.e. ancient past as exhibited in the archaeological museum, recent past in the industrial heritage museum and contemporary times in the city museum. Tsalapatas is also within walking distance from where the ‘museum of the city’ shall be located and thus something has to be said about extra services, given the fact that Tsalapatas has not only a museum but also other mixed functions, including restaurants and night bar. While a restaurant / bar in the city museum may be needed for immediate convenience of the visitors, at another matter it matters whether or not a concept for a network of museums exists, so as to create new opportunities (M. Carta, Palermo) within the city as a whole.

There exist as well close to the ‘museum of the city’ archaeological sites of the Old Town. Right now they are not accessible, but they are of great cultural importance to the story of the city. Hence a city museum ought to bridge, thematically speaking, this enormous gap between ancient and recent past. At least it could be expected that the study by Effie Pappas includes this need for a thematic bridging of different time periods in her consideration and show at least some initial reflections on how a city museum could integrate these archaeological sites in a story of the city of Volos in need to be narrated.

There needs to be found out as well what planning constraints exist, if at all, when it comes to developing further the Old Town. The very concept applied in Athens, namely ‘unification of archaeological sites’ can serve as a good example. Vasilis Sgouris from DEMEKAV repeatedly stated that something needs to be done about these largely neglected archaelogical sites in the middle of the Old Town. If a sophisticated approach would be adopted, then this could give as well special emphasis on the environment, in order to ensure accessibility for people to go through the Old Town is at the same time an experience of 'sustainability' of a new kind e.g. car free zones in the Old Town so that people can discover the places by just walking as is the case in Athens below the Acropolis. Effie Pappas touches upon this briefly when she refers in her study to principles of sustainability but she does so without elaborating further what this would mean for the relationship between such a city museum and its immediate environment i.e. the Old Town, Tsalapatas, archaeological sites, old houses, new developments (bars, lofts or luxury housing etc.)

In brief, it would be expected that such a study would appraise the surrounding area of the designated building for the ‘museum of the city’ in greater detail. This would mean reviewing at the very least what has been happening to the Old Town over the past ten years. Already it can be said that the restoration of Tsalapatas led to a general upgrading of the entire area. The impact of this upon the Old Town is that it has become by now a speculative area for further housing and restaurant development. There is inherent the danger of gentrification i.e. conflicts between old residents and newcomers. All this needs to be taken into consideration when appraising what impact the ‘museum of the city’ would have upon the surrounding area.

After all when studying the development of a city, it appears as if a huge discrepancy exists between knowing what a city could do and what happens in reality. The latter is often the result of speculations going on in the housing and real estate sector but not only. For at the overall planning level, it is the usual case that mayors hire study makers to contradict the overall master plan and therefore try to discover new spaces where it is simply possible to build and thereby to keep the construction business and related interest groups happy. Since it has a meaning if in an area until now neglected and forgotten, but now coming under ever higher pressure from the side of speculators, there shall be located a museum, the critical question in this private-public relationship shall be whether or not this can be made into a regulatory force or not. Volos does not seem to promise much in this regard i.e. respect for monuments or cultural heritages, but it is nevertheless important to take up this issue.

The entire area where the city museum is to be located, namely in the Old Town, has undergone a conversion since the start of restoration work on Tsalapatas. There was build first a new football field directly in front of the former brick factory. This meant no direct access from the sea or along the river bank was possible, but only from the side and in full view of that playing field. The contrast between the two could not be greater both in meaning and in functional use of spaces. It downgrades simply the industrial heritage of Tsalapatas although restored with huge amounts of money. Then there was granted the building permission of an entire new housing estate. It exists immediately behind Tsalapatas. Even worse its architectural style is completely independent of any local identity characteristics nor has any relation to Tsalapatas. Again it seems an extreme form of over alienation with bad taste to add. For the architectural design of the housing estate uses colours and materials which are supposed to look modern, but are of such a kind that it becomes to any observing eye that the intention was not to heed the proximity to such a cultural heritage building as Tsalapatas itself stands out for. Made of red brick and covering quite a large area with extensions of buildings now used as workshops, it would have been good if some thought had been given what is the meaning for allowing to build such a housing estate so close in proximity, that this other style literally breathes down on Tsalapatas and ruins the entire vision i.e. aesthetical purpose of having restored an industrial heritage site. It underlines once again that use of space is hardly ever understood if there exists no planning. Instead this ugly contradiction is but another typical example of supposedly modern development when it ruins in fact meaning of place and space in time to be lived and experienced as a special tension in space.

This is to say that the ‘city of museum’ building is not located in a neutral space but in an area where building and housing speculation has intensified already over the past ten years. Any study would have to take that into account.

3. Cultural management

In order to improve the cultural management of cultural resources, it shall not be merely a matter of how well is managed a single museum. Since any museum exists within a cultural landscapes and socio-economic-political context, protecting and promoting cultural heritage of any place is also a matter of concern for local authorities and the community as a whole. Everyone must and can contribute to an overall attitude which shows there are different but considerate ways of taking care of cultural heritage. Here then can be found a definite link between how in a museum objects are treated and the overall cultural atmosphere expressed best by how people treat land, water, buildings, private and public spaces, in short their environment. Values of behaviour are reflected fore mostly how people treat each other. It shows itself as well in work relationships and what are after all besides managerial tasks a matter how people learn to communicate to the outside world what the museum has to tell.

To take care of cultural heritage means something is at work to attain more sustainable "cultural landscape scape" patterns. It shows itself in many ways e.g. how people build houses – do they consider the neighbours by not building an extra storey even though illegal and which has the consequence of blocking the view of the sea for all the others behind that house? It shows already what regard they have for the others. The usual pattern is to assert one's own needs without consideration for the others but what impact such a negative landscape will have on all, that is usually not thought of when constructions starts and the next planning interventions start to leave deep scars in the landscape. The consequence is that a negative pattern sets in and dysfunctional use of spaces stamps the entire city.

Use of space shows itself whether now cars or motorbikes are parked or ever larger houses build, and all in the wildest way possible, so that the impression of chaos and a negative aesthetic prevails.

Cultural management and planning can make inroads by freeing views to the sea, or creating car free passages which run through in inner parts of the city. Still, Volos has to face two main contradictions: neighbourhood traffic and tourist / transport related traffic passing through e.g. from the port to the Pelion mountains. How that problem of traffic and circulation of people and goods is resolved, remains to be seen. Until now it is a burden and every solution has brought a new set of new problems. A good example is the extra road build on the outskirts to provide access to the football stadium but also to have something like a ring road. All what it has done is to externalize even more so the internal and unresolved problems of a city not in agreement between its various functions (business, administrative, port, residential, tourist, entertainment etc.)

Taken care of cultural heritage is done best by learning how to bring together cultural and natural resources in a way that an economic development allows for the articulation of diverse cultural identities and improves the quality of life of 'all' citizens. Thus culture-based projects like a museum can contribute to cultural sustainability, provided this concept of cultural management in an overall sense is grasped and would allow the museum to interact with society in a way to ensure progress is being made in a cultural sustainable way to ensure an already existing cultural landscape is preserved and promoted in a way that no further damages are inflicted upon it. As the HERMES project attests, cultural heritage can best be promoted by a wise thereof. As this applies as well to an entire city, a museum can set the premise for good practice and promote this by a positive interaction with schools, universities, local administrations, transportation companies, private business enterprises etc. in a way that the cultural heritage can show a way into the future.

3.1 Integrated Management and Development of Cultural Heritage

The ESDP writes that Europe’s cultural heritage is an expression of its identity, a world asset characterized by great richness and diversity. Rigorous protective measures, including schemes for designating sites and monuments, can cover only a small part of this heritage. For the remainder, the ideal of sustainable developments calls for a more creative approach capable of passing on to future generations a cultural heritage to which the achievements of the present age will be added. The need is for the “creative management” of urban landscapes, promoting their overall coherence and reversing the trend towards the dereliction, damage and destruction prevalent in many areas.

Since it is widely recognized that cultural heritage is also an economic asset of growing importance, the need for protection and promotion has to be fulfilled at general level and by a certain culture prevailing throughout the city. Good work at a single museum cannot be enough to uphold an overall respect for cultural heritage e.g. not use archaeological sites as rubbish dumps but which has been the case in and around Volos. There has to be understood from where this attitude of neglect comes from. Just as nature was treated badly more and more during industrialization, likewise cultural landscapes have been destroyed without regard what this does for the flow of water, winds and overall eco balance. For instance, the road coming in from Athens-Larissa to Volos cuts directly through the ancient aqueduct which brought water all the way from the Pelion mountains down to the Dimitria palace. It would have been quite easy to build an underpass, so as to leave the ancient monument intact and the link of the land an evidence of the past for everyone to see this ancient connection, but no, it had to be cut through. Even more so this underlines a shift in Greece.

In Ancient Times connections were made only by sea, but now, with modern transportation systems, natural valleys and inlets are no longer safeguarded but rather the new links, reinforced by quite another kind of infrastructure, makes the connection between Athens and Volos into a higher priority than what happens between main and side roads.

A neglect of the landscape is made evident by what happens in the outskirts of Volos. There prevails a wildness of retail business, industrial plants, repair shops, rubbish dumps of all kinds, etc. It obliterates altogether the border of the city. There is no longer a crossing over such a border to be experienced. Instead the condition of these outskirts indicates a neglect of all environmental factors and shows what needs to be respected is literally only abused. That first impression of neglect and even worse of an ugly wasteland when approaching Volos says a lot as to how any welcome to the city can never be positive as long these outer conditions prevail. That should have been considered when the city was hosting during the Olympic Games some of the football games in 2004. Visitors will come once, but not twice when they have seen that. No wonder when an attempt to host after 2004 the Mediterranean Games had to be cancelled for more than merely financial reasons. As Vasilis Sgouris would put it that left a huge hole in the cultural landscape and reputation of Volos with no one any more sure what can be done to regain a positive reputation.

The creation and upkeep of a cultural landscape requires careful management and planning to keep development and innovation of use of space in carefully considered tracks or even ravines. In particular, it is recognized that the environmental quality of cities is increasingly a location factor in mobile investment. Decisions on the location of new economic activities (especially those employing highly skilled labour) are taking into account, with greater frequency, the quality of life and environment.

Moreover, attractions of cultural value have over the last decades become an important factor in the dynamic development of the heritage-tourism industry. There is now a shift towards more active ways of spending the holiday and leisure time.

3.2 Impact upon job creation

Clearly if one type of management is suggested as model of operation of a museum, it will limited a priori an open ended inquiry into what is really needed. For instance, there should be considered what are the essential tasks of any museum, and then in addition of a city museum. For example, Effie Pappas’ study does not take into consideration the need for artistic directors, curators, story tellers, exhibition makers, media specialists etc. Furthermore, there has to be a linkage to an advisory group which can safeguard the museum from making mistakes. Thus to look at the operational set-up only from the point of view of services and management design, and both linked to financial considerations, will simply not do.

A crucial point of conflict with Aegli Dimoglou was according to Effie Pappas the proposition that the study should show how a ‘museum of the city’ can be operated with only four people. Needless to say at the same time Effie Pappas went to the other extreme and proposed a maximum management concept a city would have to fulfil, if a museum was to fulfil standards she related to what she had experienced in America. But as said the business environment in which museums have to operate in America differs greatly from what prevails in Greece. The managerial concept must be adapted accordingly.

As seen by the example of the Wielandt museum in Weimar, limited finances will not allow for any guides to be working in the museum. It means everything shall be made dependent upon the acceptance of visitors to use new multi media. There shall be installed in the museum audio spaces through which visitors can walk and while doing so listen to the information provided within that specific audio, equally invisible space. There can be added written explanations as to what they actually see e.g. hand written manuscripts, some furniture etc. Clearly it is to be expected that various operational models are examined in anticipation of different financial strategies and funding possibilities.

As stated already, a false heuristic model of cultural management is proposed by the study when reference is made only to management as guarantee of better organization. Management as such does not guarantee as of yet what only an inner culture can do in terms of good communication between all who work at the museum. Also good management makes only sense if the independence of the artistic director and / or curator can be secured.

Since the management model and the analysis proposed by Effie Pappas amounts to transpose what she has learned to appreciate in the way American museums managed things into the Greek context, it would be important if the study had checked on the cultural compatibility of this managerial model. Insofar as she can suggest Volos can become like Manhatten a melting pot of different identities, she overlooks not merely the difference in scale and how culture manifests itself in Volos, but also does not reflect upon her visionary outlook even though highly exaggerated and an over generalization of the American model. As a matter of fact the 'melting pot' model is an over simplification and does not justice to either the cultural diversity in the USA, but also does not take into account persistent failures of this model in terms of racial boundaries and discrimination against the Blacks, homeless, migrants, etc.

Moreover once this proposal or models of Effie Pappas is compared to the key concern of Volos, namely to retain and promote local identity, then another relation to the economy becomes evident. For local culture is often a term to promote local production and this by using culture to close the market against any kind of competition coming from outside. Not withstand that there are other, more powerful forces which can overpower local forces or sideline them i.e. put them out of business, in the long run for sure the local forces have an upper hand and the outsider usually tends to lose out since not in the information loop nor free from all kinds of sabotages when trying to do business. If Greece generally is said to be lacking in competition, it may be explained by the cultural factor put in play. It means whenever reference is made to culture, in particular to local culture, then to evoke the principle of superiority as special privilege to evoke the right for exclusive practices. In reality, culture is then used to cover up all kinds of unfair practices and that means in the end a coded way to obtain resources and jobs. It says certain things are only reserved for the insiders while the outsider is kept in 'silence' or stamped as intruder.

Insofar as Vasilis Sgouris pointed out that he does not want so much planning but rather wants to put emphasis upon ‘cultural industries’, then culture as economic activity takes on a special meaning in this local and highly exclusive sense. Any study would have to confront at the very least this contradiction especially if funds are obtained through a European project and therefore linked to the need to further inclusive practices. The contradiction would be if study makers were asked to make further going suggestions how local identity and the cultural well being could be upheld, while at the same such cultural management would not face that inherent contradiction!

3.3 Evaluative framework

As a first appraisal the study does not seem to be concerned with how to promote the ‘living memory of the city’, and this in a second step within a possible ‘museum of the city’. Precisely at this point the question will be whether in fact the cultural management model as proposed by Effie Pappas can instigate work on memory and work with memory. For the American managerial method is orientated only towards the new and therefore negates any link to the past. Even though memories of the past may entail unpleasant events and tragic outcomes, this ongoing memory work has to uphold the redemption dimension i.e. learning out of past mistakes by telling stories how it was. Thereby a reflection of how to improve management cannot exhaust itself in questions of how to better organize i.e. market cultural events. Yet this is Effie Pappas' main strategic goal and leaves therefore out what a management has to ensure, namely that work within the museum matures around the objective to deepen the understanding of the cultural development taking place in Volos.

A city that has decided to follow the myth of the Argonauts as a means of giving it a distinct cultural profile will face certain challenges. One of them shall be how to free various actors and visitors from the real world and allow them to partake in an imaginary voyage? By contrast, the boundary of a ‘museum of the city’ shall not only be drawn by what constitutes living experiences within real time, but depend as well how the development of the city shall be mapped and exhibited. That will have to include participation of the local citizens and an ongoing learning to anticipate future developments on the basis of what has taken place already. There shall be the crucial pivot points to allow such a maturation process. This can be reflected in terms of past, present and future developments. It would allow in terms of economic, social and cultural development a kind of simple model so as to set the terms for different but related tasks.

 City of Volos





 Ancient Past compared to Recent past with a phase of industrialisation

 Coming out of de-industrialisation and entering phase of economic recession

 Digital future: how to manage the future already present?


 Traditional-progressive society but with strong left leaning and therefore often under military rule to suppress local protest

 Effort to regain innovative capacity and regional importance

 Open question whether it can continue to rely on various factors such as university, port, tourism


 Archaeology and Industrial heritage

 Music theatre and other attempts to uphold cultural events (theatre, music) in relation to popular-local traditions but also modern Greek and international trends




The question of a city museum cannot be reduced to mere managerial matters. People need to know what shall be the basis of ‘museum of the city’. If it is said right at the outset its purpose is to facilitate an ongoing learning process by use of a living archive to keep track of individuals and groups as much as of events and developments, then citizens will stay in dialogue with the work being done by the museum. It shall be of strategic importance if the question of how to handle the 'memory work' shall be answered best by the museum being a keen observer of further development in Volos and surrounding area.


Hatto Fischer

Athens 27.1.2005 (updated 3.9.2013)


Effie Pappas, “Strategic Directions and Findings for Volos: Issues to be Tackled for Cultural Management”, presented within the HERMES meeting in Volos, 24 – 27th of January 2005.

Volos 1881 – 1955, The city and the people, editor: Charalambos G. Charitos, published by Municipal Center for Historic Research and Documentation (D.I.K.I.), Volos 2004. Volos experienced immediately after the Second World War such interventions that restricted Volos’ role within the city limits and the geographical region of Thessaly with the establishment of Nea Ionia in 1947


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