Amman: Virtual Exhibitions Workshop


11 December 2011 - INDICATE Workshops


Department of Antiquities of Jordan
Sultan al-atrash St.
Building No. 10
Beside the Algerian Embassy
Jabal Amman between the 3rd and 4th circle

Scope of the workshop:

  • To present best practice examples of virtual exhibitions
  • To discuss how e-Infrastructures can be used to enhance virtual exhibitions applications
  • To analyse the resources which e-Infrastructures offer, and how they can be deployed to deal with virtual exhibitions implementations

Agenda of the workshop:

10.00 : Registration

10.30 : Welcome Messages by Jordanian Authorities

Digital Cultural Heritage infrastructures background [pdf, 3297 kb]
Rossella CAFFO, Director of the Central Institute for the Union Catalogue of the Italian Libraries - Italian Ministry of Culture; Project Manager of the INDICATE project

The Indicate project [.pdf, 400kb]
Antonella FRESA, Technical Coordinator of the INDICATE project, ICCU, Italian Ministry of Culture 

11:30 : Coffee Break

12:00 : Keynote speech

User-Centered Digital Museology: Towards Profile Adapted Virtual Expositions  [.pdf, 4MB]
Prof. Ioannis Kanellos, École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications de. Bretagne

13.00 :  Questions & Answers

13.30 :  Lunch

14.30 :  Presentations of best practice and examples of virtual exhibitions in the participating countries

Italy - Guidelines for virtual exhibitions [pdf, 744 kb] 
Maria Teresa Natale, ICCU, Italian Ministry of Culture

Jordan -  Ancient Theatres Enhancement for New Actualities (ATHENA) project [pdf, 1782 kb]
Al Adarbeh Nizar, Project Manager of the Ancient Theatres Enhancement for New Actualities (ATHENA) project

Spain - i2CAT - Virtual performances [pdf, 2744 kb]
Artur Serra, Deputy Director i2CAT

Egypt - CultNat experience in the virtual world [pdf, 6416 kb]
Ayman Khoury, CULTNAT Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage

Research and Education Networks in the Arab World [pdf, 2511 kb]     
Anwar Al Yousef, Junet

16.30 - Discussion

17:00 - Conclusions of the workshop

Background information

This event is part of the INDICATE project, which is a coordination action supported by the European Commission in the frame of the FP7-Capacities programme, e-infrastructure thematic area.

The INDICATE project started on the 1st of September 2010 and will last 24 months until September 2012.

More detailed information are available online at the project's website:

The theme of the virtual exhibitions is one of the case studies of the INDICATE project and for this reason a specific workshop has been planned.

The workshop is the follow up of a survey conducted in the countries participating to the project and on the results of the national working groups, with particular regard to the work done by the Italian group.

The proceedings of this workshop will be produced as deliverable D3.2 Workshop Proceedings - Virtual Exhibitions of the INDICATE project. Deliverable D3.2 is expected to be released to the European Commission at month 18 of  the project. Deliverable D3.2 is planned to be a public document and it will be accessible through the INDICATE project website at

The results of the workshop will be analysed and re-elaborated by the INDICATE partners and will constitute the basis of the deliverable D5.2 Case Study Report - Virtual Exhibitions. The deliverable will describe how cultural institutions can engage in the delivery of on-line virtual exhibitions, which are the targets they can better address with this kind of virtual events and how the e-infrastructures can be beneficial to improve the results of cultural virtual exhibitions. The deliverable D5.2 is expected to be released to the European Commission at month 15 of the project. The deliverable D5.2 is planned to be a public document and it will be accessible through the INDICATE project website at

Speaker's profiles and papers' abstracts


Rossella Caffo

Director of ICCU; entrusted by the DG for the Technological Innovation and Promotion of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities to follow ministerial initiatives dealing with new technologies applied to cultural heritage. In this capacity she coordinates national and international projects, such as SBN, Internet Culturale, and CulturaItalia, and the European projects MINERVA, MinervaPLUS and MinervaEC, MICHAEL and MichaelPLUS, and ATHENA. Rossella Caffo is appointed by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities as Italian representative in the framework of the Member States’ Expert Group on Digitisation and Digital preservation set up by the European Commission. She coordinates DC-NET and INDICATE projects within the e-infrastructure domain, and other European initiatives as Linked Heritage.

Antonella FresaEngineer at Olivetti at the research centres of Pisa, Ivrea and Cupertino (Califormia) from 1980 to 1989 and at the Tower Tech engineering company in Pisa from 1990 to 1994. She has been involved in EU projects since 1993, writing proposals, managing projects and taking part in reviews and evaluation. From 1998 to 2002 she worked as Project Officer at the European Commission in Brussels. In the last ten years she has personally managed several projects in FP5, FP6, FP7, eTEN and eContent+. She has acted as evaluator and rapporteur for the RTD Framework programmes of the EU. She has extensive personal experience of digital humanities, acting as a consultant to the Italian Ministry of Culture since 2002 and contributing substantially to the work of the Minerva, Michael, Europeana, ATHENA, LINKED HERITAGE, DC-NET and INDICATE projects.INDICATE is a project whose main objectives are from one side the coordination of cultural heritage research opportunities opened by e-Infrastructures in countries all around the Mediterranean and from the other side the development of consistent policies and best practices governing such research. The use of e-Infrastructures by researchers in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) is still a relatively new phenomenon. However, e-Infrastructures enable exciting and valuable new research in AHSS, and in cultural heritage in particular. New regional, national and EU initiatives continue to emerge, but there is still a lack of coordination structures for sharing best practice and experience and a lack of usable guidelines and best practice documentation. INDICATE project aims to establish and nurture a network of common interest made up of experts and researchers dedicated to policy and best practice in the complementary domains of e-Infrastructures and e-Culture, whose sustainability will be planned on a long term beyond the project duration. The network shares experience, promotes standards and guidelines, seeks harmonisation of best practice and policy and acts as a conduit for knowledge transfer from countries with more experience of e-Infrastructures-enabled e-culture to those who are just beginning to investigate this area. The project is rooted in the reality of research pilots and case studies which act as exemplars and demonstrators of the issues and the processes which are relevant to establishing cultural initiatives on the e-Infrastructures platform. In the first year, on the one hand the design and set-up of two pilot applications have been started: e-Infrastructure-enabled semantic search for cultural repositories and e-Infrastructure-enabled e-Collaborative Digital Archive protected by access control and rights management. The De Roberto Digital Repository, the Digital Repository of the Architectural and Archaeological Heritage in the Mediterranean Area and the Digital Repository of China Relics were the first e-culture applications which have been ported and integrated into the INDICATE e-Cultural Science Gateway. On the other hand a number of Working Groups have been established in each country to examine how the facilities and resources offered by e-Infrastructures can be used to address long-standing R&D issues in the cultural heritage domain through the analysis of three detailed case studies: virtual exhibitions of cultural content, preservation of digital cultural content and processing and management of geo-coded digital content. The policy results are meant to be widely disseminated by a wide-reaching dissemination work-package, which includes two major public best practice deliverables, one international conference, three technical workshops and one policy workshop: the first technical Workshop on long term Digital Preservation has been organised in Ankara (Turkey) on 7th of July 2011, this is the second one on Virtual Exibitions and a third one on GIS is planned in Ljubljana in February 2012. The participation of Ministerial partners (ICCU, MCC, CULTNAT, DA, MCT) from Mediterranean countries (both EU and non-EU) represents an important mean to reach the highest political level in the cultural heritage field, as well as to involve the widest number of cultural institutions in the dissemination and awareness actions organised by the project.
Ioannis Kanellos Professor at the Computer Science Department of TELECOM Bretagne, France. He studied mathematics, philosophy and linguistics. His scientific interests concern applied semiotics, rich media technologies, e-learning, anthropocentric human/machine interactions and digital museology. His work tries to furnish theoretical evidences and technological issues for interpretive approaches of the accessibility requirement to cultural, scientific and/or educational resources, noticeably in learning situations. Such accessibility is thoroughly conceived as a broad understanding challenge (of students, of visitors, of the general public, etc.); the reading process prevails in modeling and development of systems. In the domain of digital museology, he tries to explore alternative implementations of the notion of user-centered thematic museums; there, flexibility addresses various profiles and levels of reception (and thus, of reading). He developed, in particular, the Annuncation virtual museum ( When educational prerogatives meet museums wills and plans for extensively shared heritage (cultural, technical, scientific...), show and scene is not the adequate answer. The problem of accessibility is not only practical or material (how to accede to or how to deal with digital resources), but rather semantic: the public needs exhibition contexts, methods and tools that help in enhancing its understanding. Thus, in digital museology, exhibitions have to internalize specific issues able to reconfigure a presentation by adapting it to different visiting profiles and aims. Clearly, adapted exhibitions need to be supported by specific, upstream knowledge organization, sensible to different refinement levels and various points of view of exhibited objects. In this communication, we precisely intend to present some issues for these ideas, based on an implementation attempt of a thematic virtual museum (i.e., an on-line museum that offers exhibitions of a determined theme). After a quick summary of knowledge representation exigencies, we demonstrate by some selected hints the adaptability questions and solutions underlying the Annunciation virtual museum
Maria Teresa Natale Since 1985 she works in services for cultural institutions and the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage; from 2002 to 2008 she participated in the national and European activities of the 3 MINERVA projects (MINERVA, MINERVAplus, and MINERVA eC), being content manager of the relevant website, and responsible for the project Museo & Web, born in the framework of Minerva; she cooperated with the MEDCULT project funded by UNESCO, and coordinated the ‘Digital Heritage' work package of STACHEM. Since the beginning (December 2009) she was technical coordinator of the ATHENA project. She takes part in Europeana Working Group on users and one of the authors of the Italian Guidelines for online virtual exhibition. One of the main goals of public and private cultural institutions is the promotion and dissemination of knowledge. They accomplish their mission thanks to knowledge dissemination tools that include temporary and permanent exhibitions and exhibits that follow codified models, whose goal is to expose citizens to the national and international cultural heritage. The meeting between the languages and methods of traditional cultural promotion (non-virtual exhibits and exhibitions) and the promotion and dissemination of knowledge through web-based methods (online virtual exhibitions) have made it necessary to edit guidelines that encourage the use of the web and maximize its potential. Exhibits designed with IT languages and destined for the webare increasingly acquiring institutional relevance and a strong public profile: museums, archives, libraries, and cultural institutions all should recourse to them and be considered an important strategic activity and as such must be well-planned and supported to foster their long-term growth. Virtual online exhibitions are not merely aimed at specialists, but rather at an audience that is larger and more heterogeneous than ever before, and which is difficult to frame in traditional profiles. This is the reason why project choices must arise from a careful analysis of modes of expression, architecture, and language. The exhibition's architecture must be designed according to effective management models that can generate diversified virtual routes while keeping production costs acceptable, in order to meet the needs of the various user groups. This document aims to illustrate the state of the art in online virtual exhibitions, both on the basis of the actual experience accrued by various Italian institutes and the observation and analysis of international products. It documents the outcome of collective deliberation on the part of experts and operators from all cultural sectors, who discussed their experiences in an ad hoc Italian working group within the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage.
Al Adarbeh NizarProject Manager of the Ancient Theatres Enhancement for New Actualities (ATHENA) project (, which is funded by the European Commission under the Euromed Heritage IV Program ( Al Adarbeh holds a Master degree in Cultural Resources Management and other international certificates in Destination Management and Professional Events Management. He was involved in different projects (2004-2011) related to the conservation and management of cultural heritage in Jordan and worked in several international funded projects.Ancient theatres represent one of the most significant cultural heritage remains of Mediterranean civilizations. A number of these ancient theatres are still being used for various activities. Such current uses of theatres create a continuous impact on theatre structures originally designed for needs very different from contemporary ones. Thus, the need for a common strategy seems to arise, involving the design, testing and implementation of a management plan. ATHENA project aims to minimize the progressive decay of ancient theatres in terms of physical, cultural and socio-economic aspects, to support the revival of theatres as a part of a wider archaeological site or urban context and to establish an overall strategy for dealing with tangible and intangible heritage aspects. ATHENA project will have a major contribution in INDICATE through providing 3D modeling and interactive Theater models. Several digital surveys for the theaters were implemented using 3D laser scanner in Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Spain, and Italy.
Artur Serra i HurtadoDeputy Director of the i2cat Foundation and Research Director at Citilab (Catalonia, Spain). The i2cat project started in 1999 and was one of the first European programs on Future Internet. He got the Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology in the Universitat de Barcelona in 1992, after completing a three years fieldwork at Carnegie Mellon University, doing an ethnographic fieldwork about the "Design Culture" of this American university, specially its School of Computer Science. During last decades he has focused in the convergence of media, Internet and people with projects like Opera Oberta, Megaconference, Dancing Q, Cultural Ring, and other developed in collaboration with Liceu de Barcelona, GEANT, Internet2, Cinegrid, KAIST, CANARIE, RNP from Brazil and other institutions globally.
Dr. Serra is founding member of European Network of Living Labs, and organizing public-private-citizens partnerships fostering open innovation projects in Spain, like Citilab, inaugurated in 2007. This center is becoming an international reference in engaging digital innovation processes with citizens.
Over the last 15 years museums, libraries and archives had been using the Internet to develop virtual exhibitions projects and disseminate their collections. The available e-infrastructures let us to think on new exhibitions formats and uses, as the ones that had already been developed on the field of performing arts. The virtual performances projects carried out by the i2cat Foundation since 2001 like the Open Opera, DancingQ event, Pansori/Flamenco demo and the Cultural Ring constitute an example of the new uses and formats that can also be applied to the cultural heritage sector. The Cultural Ring (Anella Cultural) is a digital cultural network which, with the intensive use of the new possibilities of second generation Internet, activates the exchange of contents and the co-production of events on-line and promotes research activities about new uses of the net in the cultural production field, while improving their diffusion and offering to creators a new platform to experiment with applications in digital art.
Ayman KhouryDeputy Director of CULTNAT
Head of the Egyptian Folklore and Audio-Visual Documentation Department
An expert in the field of digital documentation since 1994, He joined CULTNAT in 2000, where he has founded two documentation programs: the Egyptian Folklore and the Photographic Memory of Egypt, in addition to establishing the Audio-Visual Documentation Department. Milestones of his career include: developing the first Thesaurus of Egyptian folklore, thus paving the way for the development of the first thesaurus and database for the Arab folklore, in contribution with the ALECSO. He is also a photographer and movie director and managing the digital photo archive of CULTNAT.
Egypt's Heritage is of a worldwide interest and importance due to its continuity over a period of more than five thousand years.
It encompasses various aspects of the human civilization, monitors the development of human heritage and represents a cultural as well as natural heritage of national and international value.
Cultnat mandate is to document the various aspects of Egypt's tangible and intangible cultural heritage as well as its natural heritage, using the last IT technology, and also to increasing public awareness of Egypt heritage.