Reflections on the Temporary Exhibition Workshop

The Heritage Management Organization’s mission supports the interests of professional development cultural institutions in Athens and abroad. The HMO hosted the Temporary Exhibitions workshop as part of its Executive Leadership series of workshops and seminars in November 2015 at the Benaki Museum in central Athens. Two of the MA students attended the workshop; here are some reflections.
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How to Excel in Business Games

It’s been nearly two days and I don’t think it’s sunk in yet that my team won TOPAZ, the business simulation game that we’ve been running over the last two and a half weeks. While the HERMA has used TOPAZ in the past, we were told that this year, students received either the highest or the second highest in the years it’s been running. This either says that this year was full of talented, business-minded students, or that we were so worried and paranoid over our results that we tried just that much harder to do well.
TOPAZ, for the uninitiated, may be a business simulation game, but it is more than that. It is a test of logic, a battle of wits, a fight against human nature, and, for those interested in heritage and history over numbers, a fiery landscape of despair. In this game, with a rules handbook of over fifty pages, teams of four to five are pitted against their classmates with the object of running a business – in its growth stage – and achieving the highest stock price. To do this, each team receives a Management Report for each decision period – of which there were 5 – and makes 66 decisions per decision period. Stop me if these numbers are already bothering you, as they bothered me when I first heard them. I hadn’t even seen the first Management Report yet, and I was overwhelmed.


Team Iron 15, left to right: Faidon Moudopoulos, myself (Hannah Nickelson), Hadi Ahmadi, and Hakan Tarhan

From the beginning of the simulation, we were told that the best idea was to split the members of our team into different roles, where we could read, memorize, and master pages of rules, tips, and data to form one giant puzzle of business acumen. For this, I took charge of our team’s Sales and Marketing, and, as no one cared either way, I stood up as the so-called “team leader.” This lasted all of thirty minutes, as we decided that it would be best to stay on the same level and make all decisions together. And, while there were quite a few pitfalls along the way, this was a much better decision for our group than splitting up and taking on the world all on its own. Team, after all, is the most important word in “teamwork.” There was no need to drag anyone alongside us, when everyone was capable and ready to put our efforts together.
Teamwork was one of the best things that came out of this “game,” and if we hadn’t have worked together like that, we would not nearly have come out as strong both in the results of the game and in team dynamics. We were able to trust one another to make good decisions, or to listen and consider other points of view, and for that, we created an environment where our group made consistently strong decisions.


Team celebrating possible win at the Eleusis Archaeological Site, same order as picture above

However, I would be lying if I said that teamwork was the overall best thing I learned through TOPAZ. While our wrap-up session showed us many ways that we could view this simulation as a facilitator for growth and learning, there was one it missed out on, and I find this one to be the top most important skill I gained from TOPAZ: finally learning how to work Microsoft Excel.
I would like to start out by saying that, I promise, I am not overstating this. Excel is one of those things you add on your resume and hope they never ask you about. Excel is that program that you’re sure somebody used in university, but your liberal arts degree never even required you to download the program. Excel is that pitfall of your oh-so-modern look-at-me-I-can-use-a-computer young people skillz, that everyone just assumes you’ve probably figured out by now, despite not having used it since Windows stopped using the long numbers to describe its operating systems. Because, yes, I have used Excel before. Once. When I was in the fourth grade in primary school, and they wanted to teach us what each of the twelve programs on the school computers were. I was nine. I never saw it again.
Excel was the bane of my existence, and I am proud to say that now I can use at least five functions in it now. I can input formulas, and, actually, that’s the main skill you need. On top of that, though, and here’s the real kicker, I can click and drag boxes (they’re called cells, can you imagine? Like ex”cel”!) so that those formulas can be applied over a wide array of places. Excel is a magical world of numbers that I no longer have to write out by hand. High school geometry would have been so much easier had I the skills I have now, thanks to TOPAZ. I can write numbers in Excel, write words in Excel, change colors in Excel, and probably with enough effort, I can build mountains with Excel. I can now write, “can use Excel, Word, Power Point, the whole works of Microsoft Office” on my CV without dreading interviews.
We used Excel to create formulas that changed, with new numbers input in the right places, and we used a few versions of this as our knowledge and insight into the “game” increased. We learned a lot about running a business – mainly, that it’s hard, grueling work, and that your competitors will jump out at you from behind the bushes making loud noises if you don’t jump out first, making even louder noises. But, mostly, apart from the balance we learned to maintain effective teamwork, I am most proud of this new skill in Excel. Excel was part of the team. Excel is my friend now, and my enemy no longer. Probably, at least. There may still be a few thousand more things I need to work out, first.

hnickelson blog post picture
Hannah Nickelson is the current Heritage Nation blog editor, and Media Officer for the HERMA class of 2015-2016. She has a background in TEFL and journalism, and has her BA degree in English Literature and Language. She is interested in travel, history, education, and chocolate.

Unexplored Exeter for Heritage Open Days 2014

The European Heritage Days (Journées européennes du patrimoine) initiative was created by the Council of Europe and the European Commission in 1991 in order to raise awareness and to promote the cultural wealth of Europe, with the key caveat that all events, open days, and talks must be free to attend. Now with 50 signatory states participating, the EHD have wider-reaching aims, including in 2014 to:

  • raise the awareness of European citizens to the richness and cultural diversity of Europe;
  • create a climate in which the appreciation of the rich mosaic of European cultures is stimulated;
  • counter racism and xenophobia and encourage greater tolerance in Europe and beyond the national borders;
  • inform the public and the political authorities about the need to protect cultural heritage against new threats;
  • invite Europe to respond to the social, political and economic challenges it faces.

(Council of Europe and European Union 2014, http://pjp-eu.coe.int/en/web/ehd-jep/presentation)

Exeter in 1832

Map of the city of Exeter from 1832. The Roman baths lie under the green in front of the Cathedral, rough in the centre between the letters R and L. Used under CC SA 3.0 license from Plymouth University

The English branch of the programme, called Heritage Open Days, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, taking place between 11th and 14th September 2014. I visited several sites over the weekend portion of the open days in my home city of Exeter. Exeter is possibly most well-known as the site of a Roman legionary fortress and subsequent province, Isca Dumnoniorum. Built over the Roman civic centre (and at the heart of the modern city centre) is the large gothic Cathedral of St. Peter. It was a talk discussing this very site by the Devon Archaeological Society that was the first Heritage Open Days event I attended this year. This talk presented the (continuing) history of the Roman Baths of Exeter, excavated in 1972/3 and subsequently recovered with sand. The key issue with the site is that the mid-1st century AD Legionary baths lie under both the Cathedral Green, a 1970’s processional stairway listed by English Heritage, and adjacent buildings in the Cathedral Close. In order to expose the Roman Baths, at least part of the listed steps would have to destroyed, a WWII memorial rehomed, and a large portion of the landscaped Cathedral Green dug up. In the 40 years since excavation, various schemes have been put forward, yet so far none have seen fruition, with funding or feasibility being the main stumbling blocks. Last year the idea was reignited with the key stakeholder, the Diocese of Exeter, prepared to discuss the possibility of exposing the baths. The key issues (that have existed from when the site was excavated 40 years’ previously) continue to be the location and how the re-excavation and exposure would work architecturally, the funding for such a large project, and the site’s ongoing conservation (Allan 2014, 3). Such a large and historically interesting site and interpretation centre would bring many tourists, visitors and educational groups to the city, and this factor has been cited (with reference to the success of the Roman bath house at Bath) as one of the reasons to finally make the project a reality.


Nestled between two 20th century buildings, Tuckers Hall sits unnoticed by most passers-by

I also attended open days at sites not often (in one case not at all until now) open to the public. These included Tuckers Hall and the Dissenter’s Graveyard. The former is a guild hall built in the mid-1400s for weavers, tuckers and shearmen during the city’s booming wool trade. The building has managed to survive, tucked away on one of the main roads in the city centre and surviving for hundreds of years through the collapse of the wool trade in the city, infrastructural changes, renovation and even the extensive Luftwaffe bombing of the city during WWII. Now a Grade II* listed building, it is still owned and managed by the Incorporation of Weavers, Fullers and Shearmen, and open to the public on selected days. Upon entering the building, I immediately regretted not visiting sooner, as it has a great exhibition of the history of wool trading in Exeter, the wool making process and evidence of the ubiquity of wool working in the city prior to the industrial revolution. The recent development project that enabled this interpretation centre to be built is not quite finished; the Guild are also looking to digitise their extensive archive of documents dating back to the 16th century.

The Dissenter’s Graveyard is a heritage site that was little-known, if not unknown, in the city until the beginning of this year when it was purchased by the trust that now owns and manages it. Created in the mid-1700s, the purpose of the graveyard was to be the final resting place of protestant non-conformists who disagreed with the Anglican faith (hence ‘dissenters’). Full-up within around 100 years, the small plot is the site of up to 2,000 burials. The Exeter Dissenters Graveyard Trust has now de-weeded and cleaned up the tombstones in the first phase of a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Council for British Archaeology and private donation. From my visit during Heritage Open Days it was clear that the project’s success has relied on the mobilisation of volunteers who have worked to preserve this site in partnership with the trust and funders. Volunteers and organisations working in partnership was discussed at other sites I visited during the weekend; evidencing both the eagerness of the local community to protect Exeter’s heritage, but also the European Heritage Days aim of inform(ing) the public and the political authorities about the need to protect cultural heritage against new threats, as to many sites a lack of personnel is a continued threat.


Allan, J. 2014. ‘Exeter’s Roman legionary Bath-house’ in Devon Archaeological Society Newsletter. No.117, January 2014. Exeter: Devon Archaeological Society

Carmen TalbotCarmen Talbot is a student in the 2013 cohort of the Heritage Management MA, and Kent Scholar. Previously studying Ancient History as an undergraduate, she is interested in adult education in heritage and encouraging the wider adoption of digital solutions.

IHC Interview with Sofia Lovegrove

Sofia enjoying the chance to explore the largest Greek island of Crete. Photo Credit: Sofia Lovegrove.

Sofia enjoying the chance to explore Crete. Photo Credit: Sofia Lovegrove.

From September until December 2013, an Archaeology graduate from Portugal joined the ranks of IHC and worked on a variety of projects including the Climate Change and the Monuments Project (which she also attended), the coordination of postgraduate students with the initiative and the planning of a Spring tour programme within the MA in Heritage Management, aimed at visiting heritage sites around Greece. In less than three months she accomplished a great deal and proved to be an invaluable ally to our initiative. Meet Sofia Lovegrove:

Tell us about yourself and your past experience:

I’m 22 years old and I did my undergraduate degree in Archaeology at the New University of Lisbon, Portugal. Before coming to Greece, I was (and in some cases, still am) involved in various excavations and research projects related to Archaeology and Cultural Heritage in Portugal, Morocco and the UK.

What makes you passionate about heritage management?

One of the things I am most passionate about is learning, especially about humans – our past, our present, what makes us human, about our different cultures, people and places, our biological evolution, and even the ways of functioning as biological and social beings. Thus I decided I wanted to become a researcher in Archaeology. I hope to one day be able to carry out my own projects and research and share the my discoveries with as many people as I can. 

View of Meteora enroute to Northern Greece. Photo Credit: Sofia Lovegrove.

View of Meteora en route to Northern Greece. Photo Credit: Sofia Lovegrove.

I believe that sharing is one of the most important tasks of the humanities research, since what we are studying and what we discover belongs to everyone – it is our heritage, our collective human experience. Heritage Management is the subject which encompasses all of the Cultural Heritage related subjects (History, Archaeology, Anthropology, etc.) by teaching us exactly how we can manage all the many features of tangible and intangible cultural heritage and how we can share this heritage with the general public. I am naturally inclined to be interested in these subjects since I wish to work in this field and be involved in Public Archaeology projects.

Tell us about your job or your studies before you come here: 

Before participating in the internship at the IHC, I had completed an undergraduate degree in Archaeology at the New University of Lisbon in Portugal, as well as a first year of the MA in Archaeology. After a year, I quit that MA, finding that it was ultimately not fulfilling my goals and expectations. I decided to do a gap year in order to have new and enriching experiences related to Archaeology and Heritage, as well as completely unrelated ones, such as doing a Digital Photography Course and being involved in social work.

What are you doing at the moment?

Sofia leading her group of CISV’s International Village kids from Norway to Stockholm.

Sofia leading her group of CISV’s International Village kids from Norway to Stockholm.

Since I came back to Portugal at the beginning of 2014, I have been working as a translator for CHAIA, an Art History research center of the University of Évora in Portugal. I did a three-month digital photography course at the Portuguese Institute of Photography from February until April. During the last few weeks of April and part of May, I stayed in York in the UK where I was working as a finds processing supervisor at an archaeological excavation with the University of York. Since the start of 2014, I have become involved voluntarily in several organizations such as Refood – a social charity aimed at supplying people in need in Lisbon with food that would otherwise be wasted in restaurants and supermarkets – and CISV – an organization that aims at building global friendship mainly through children and teenagers. I, also, traveled to Norway for a month in July as a leader of one of CISV’s International Village programs, with 11-year-old kids from all over the world.

Socializing at an International Food Potluck with the HERMA 2014 Cohort. Photo Credit: Naina Lee

Socializing at an International Food Potluck with the HERMA 2014 Cohort. Photo Credit: Naina Lee

What did IHC offer to you?

My experience in IHC was invaluable on many different levels. Not only did it lead me to develop very practical time management, teamwork, problem-solving, leadership and communication skills, but above all, it allowed me to develop crucial personal and social skills in an extremely multicultural environment. During my time at IHC, I learned a lot about different cultures and countries such as Japan, Malawi, Croatia and Ukraine amongst many others. Because I was in such an environment from what I was used to, I was able to learn a lot about myself and to develop as a conscious and open-minded citizen of the global world; one that I am very happy to be a part of. Not only did I get the opportunity to create lasting friendships with such an international group of students, but the internship allowed me time to discover and appreciate the amazing country and culture of Greece.

What does IHC do for the world?

With its many different national and international projects – including the MA in Heritage Management, its various workshops and courses, activities which engage the general public, amongst many others –, partnerships – such as with the University of Kent, the Athens University of Economics and Business, ICCROM, etc. – and by involving many specialists and institutions from many countries around the world, the IHC aims at sharing its ideals and practices related to the correct protection and conservation of Cultural Heritage Management with the largest number of people and institutions as possible. In practice, it has done so and is continues to do so through its MA in Heritage Management, many international courses such as the one I helped organize on Climate Change and its effects on the monuments, amongst many others. As it did with me, it is helping people become more conscious of the importance of our common Human Heritage.

Idyllic church in the village of Pyrsogianni in the Northern Greek region of Mastorochoria. Photo Credit: Sofia Lovegrove

Idyllic church in the village of Pyrsogianni in the Northern Greek region of Mastorochoria. Photo Credit: Sofia Lovegrove

Sofia Lovegrove Pereira Sofia Lovegrove is now coming to the end of an enriching gap year full of good experiences, one of which an internship at IHC. She will now be starting her MA in Historical Archaeology at the University of York in September 2014.

The Arnavutkoy Museum: Hadimkoy Station Challenge

General Information on the Project

Hadimkoy is a small Turkish city 44 km from Istanbul which belongs to the Arnavutkoy municipality. The city, like the rest of the broader Arnavutkoy area, is included in the greater development plan of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (Istanbul&Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, 2011), which is planning the expansion and reorganization of Istanbul’s city borders, the formulation of satellite and smaller urban centers, and the expansion of the existing urban facilities such as: public transportation, green spaces and metropolitan parks, highways and a new airport. Consequently, the change of the environmental, social and structural characteristics of the Arnavutkoy district is expected.

Considering those future alternations, the rapid growth in the broader area of the Arnavutkoy municipality, the expansion of the urban zones and the increase of inhabitants, as described above, the formation of a museum which is going to collect, document, interpret, preserve, and promote the historical facts and traditions of the Arnavutkoy region seems crucial. That led to the decision, to turn two buildings of the Old Railway Infrastructure located in Hadimkoy city into a museum named Arnavutkoy Museum – Hadimkoy Station

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The first of the two museum buildings. Source: Taksim Yapi

The museum will include:

A Local Cultural Landscape and Human Activity History Museum, where the permanent collection will be held; and

A Periodical Exhibition Venue, where temporary exhibitions will be hosted. Their subject could vary, but still should be related to the museum purposes.

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The second of the two museum buildings. Source: Arnavutkoy Municipality

The subject of the Arnavutkoy Museum – Hadimkoy Station will be the presentation of the local history and lifestyle in time through the relation and interaction of human activity and landscape. On one hand, the way that the environment set the conditions in which local activity developed (i.e. the Terkos Lake water supply system) and on the other hand, the way the people transformed the landscape, adapting it to their activities and needs (Aksoy 2012; 5th International Architecture Biennale, 2012). Respectively, its mission will be to demonstrate and narrate to the public this landscape and social change depended on the cultural activity. To reveal the natural, demographic, ethnic, economic, religious, architectural and urban alternations that formed Arnavutkoy’s region contemporary characteristics (UNESCO, 2008, 2014; Kartaler 2012).

A Museum without a Collection, a Reversed Process

It’s common sense that when speaking about a museum, one of the most important components is its collection. In the Arnavutkoy Museum – Hadimkoy Station the material gathered so far is historical data concerning the previous function of the buildings; facts related with the railway system, maps which locate Hadimkoy and older villages of the Arnavutkoy area during time, as some demographic information concerning the population which lived in the area before the population exchange in 1923-24 (Stavridou, 1991; Meellas 2000). Hence, a material collection is not gathered yet. Research results will be exhibited within the museum premises, and through public awareness more tangible and intangible assets are expected to be gathered. So, how can a museum without tangible collection function and what is its importance?

The Old Railway Park Source: World Business Directory

The Old Railway Park
Source: World Business Directory

The most fascinating fact in the Hadimkoy Station Museum case is that the present of the Arnavutkoy district is the collection which should be gathered. Realizing that in a few years the area will be changed from the ground up, now is a unique opportunity to collect objects and testimonies which in a few years will belong to the past, and nothing will remind Arnavutkoy’s current aspect.

Archaeologists usually gather findings which they can’t explain or identify, because they belong to a civilization which doesn’t exist anymore. So they come up with assumptions or hypothesis, concerning their function and utility. Respectively the social and economic activity remains mainly an interpreted assumption (Pearce, 1994) .

In this case there is the opportunity not to have assumptions about the aspect of the area, but real testimonies considering all the important facts which are indicating the environmental, social, cultural, and economic activity in Arnavutkoy. This is the reason why it is proposed the collection gathering to be implemented vice-versa. Starting from year 0, which is today, the collection should be gathered and interpreted backwards. The residents of Arnavutkoy – Hadimkoy, especially the elders are the most important component in this effort, as they are carrying all the important knowledge connected with everyday activities and landscape alternations (Jones 1997). 


5th International Architecture Biennale (2012), “Arnavutkoy, Istanbul, Making City/Kent Yapmak”, Rotterdam 

Acela Meellas (2000), “Kadikoy and Derkos Metropolis Stamps”, Foundation of the Hellenic World, Athens, pages: 19-20, 271, 342-348, 433

Aksoy Asu (2012), ‘Atelier Arnavutköy: strategies for Istanbul’s sustainability‘, International Conference, Italy 

B.Th. Stavridou (1991), [professor in the Theological school of Khalkis], “The metropolis of Chalcedon, Derkos, and Prince Islands”, for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, published by Kyriakides Bros, Thessaloniki, pages 196 – 203

Istanbul&Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (2011), ‘Facts & Figures about Turkey and İstanbul, İstanbul a vibrant city of a thriving country‘. 

Pearce  Susan (1994) [editor], ‘Interpreting Objects and Collections‘, Routledge, UK.

Siân Jones (1997), ‘The Archaeology of Ethnicity, Constructing Identities in the Past and Present‘, Routledge, UK. 

UNESCO (2008), ’Guidelines On The Inscription Of Specific Types Of Properties On The World Heritage List’, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, France

UNESCO, Cultural Lanscape, available in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/culturallandscape/ , accessed 04/04/2014

Yesim Kartaler [editor] (2012), “Making a Sustainable City, The Arnavutkoy Approach”, Architecture Workroom Brussels, IABR, Belgium

imageTheodora Tsitoura is an alumna student of MA in Heritage Management 2012, with a Bachelor in International and European Economic Studies (AUEB). Currently she is a volunteer in the Exile Museum of Athens and in Diadrasis NGO. Theodora’s main interests are Heritage Management, Dark Heritage, Urban Heritage and Cross-Institutional Interdisciplinary Collaboration management.  

Film & Heritage: the Film Raro

Rarato, Cook IslandsLast summer, I had the chance to attend a unique event in the South Pacific. The Film Raro paradise challenge took place in Rarotonga; the capital of the Cook Islands. The event consisted in bringing five film crews to make five film projects highlighting the island’s cultural and natural  heritage.

Five teams were selected from 2000 entries and they were from USA, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom. The event was preceded by a class that introduced locals to the process of filmmaking. 

Prior to the event, the locals assisted to a class about filmmaking and acting.

When the event started, each team had to finish both the production and post-production phase within 14 days. The teams and the projects were very diverse. From New Zealand, David Gould made a film about a young boy who gets touched by the wisdom of a local fisherman that changed his perception about the island. The Stone Brothers from California, adapted Scott Fitzgerald’s Offshore Pirate into a film about a girl who rediscovers her origins upon return to Rarotonga. The Australian team made a comedy about a million pound contest to find a corgi-dog that is supposed to have descended from Queen Elizabeth’s dogs. Karen Williams produced a documentary about ‘Mou Pirri’ a folkloric wedding song that originates from the Cook Islands. 

The island lived on the Film Raro rhythm for two consecutive weeks. Rarotongans were involved in the  filmmaking and post production process. They volunteered on sets, helped build sets, made props, prepared meals and were the majority of actors in the different films. 

The event ended with the projects’ screening in front of a large audience which flocked from the different sides of the island. 

Film Raro Volunteers Dizzy, Tiairani and Nader with movie producer: Webster Stone.

I volunteered as a production assistant along with British Indian actor Dizzy Patel and Tahitian student Tiairani Drollet-le-Caill. We got the chance to rotate around film sets. This was an exciting learning experience for all of us. We got the chance to be involved in five films at the same time and see films getting made.

The different films made it into different film festivals and won prices allowing more visibility to the island of Rarotonga, its culture, history and heritage. 

Event website: www.filmraro.com

unnamedNader was born in Tunisia and was a student of the MA in Heritage Management 2012/2013. His interest in cinema was nurtured at the Tunisian Federation of Film Societies. Nader holds a B.A in English Language and Literature from the Institute of Human Sciences of Jendouba. He also holds an MA in Cultural Anthropology from New Mexico State University. Nader wants to bring his interest in heritage management to film. In the last two years, he has been developing film projects both in his native country and abroad.