Crotone, citizens denounce serious problems at the National Archaeological Museum

Closed rooms, broken air conditioning systems, poor compliance with anti-Covid regulations. A citizens' group denounces the serious situation at the Croton Archaeological Museum.

The National Archaeological Museum in Crotone, one of Calabria’s leading institutions, is experiencing a very difficult situation: opened in 1968, it is one of the major reference points for learning about the history and archaeology of Magna Graecia, but not only (numerous prehistoric and protohistoric objects are also on display), and the collection also includes the “treasure of Hera,” or votive objects found in the sanctuary of Hera Lacinia at the archaeological site of Capo Colonna (including the famous gold diadem of Hera Lacinia). The museum reopened after the lockdown only last July 11, but with numerous problems. Complaining about them is a group of citizens (Daniela Esposito, Giovanni Monte, Antonio Parrotta, Antonio Palermo, Antonio Scerra and others), who have been using social media, and Facebook in particular, for weeks to publicize, with several posts, the situation in which the museum finds itself.

Meanwhile, the reopening has been only partial: visitors are only allowed to visit the ground floor, and therefore it is not possible to admire the upper floor where the aforementioned treasure of Hera Licinia is kept, not to mention the fact that, with the museum half-open, it becomes impossible for any visitor to learn about the history of Crotone, since the museum is organized with a path on a chronological basis. But that’s not all: as of August 4, as Daniela Esposito complained in her Facebook post, anti-Covid signage was still missing. In particular, spacing lines to indicate the distances to be kept between visitors were absent, and then again hand sanitizer was missing at the entrance (later made available to visitors), and again Esposito denounced the absence of preventive measures for the hall staff: however, the electronic thermometer to measure the temperature of visitors was present.

In addition, again according to the citizens’ inspections, the museum still has a fire-fighting system that is not up to code, fire extinguishers that have not been replaced in years, and the air conditioning system is out of order, so much so that the citizens themselves proposed to purchase portable air conditioners at their own expense (although it later emerged from MiBACT that it would purchase air conditioners). Citizens met with the museum’s director, Gregorio Aversa, who assured the imminent arrival of air conditioners in the museum and the resolution of other problems brought to his attention. In the meantime, however, the lack of a functioning air conditioning system, also accomplice to the strong heat that is burning Calabria these days, makes visiting the museum very uncomfortable. But it’s not just about making the visit a pleasant experience:adequate natural ventilation, air exchange and compliance with recommendations on ventilation and air conditioning systems are part of ministerial guidelines to limit coronavirus infection.

The latest developments date back to mid-August. The Regional Museums Directorate of Calabria, to which the National Archaeological Museum of Crotone belongs, has been made aware of the situation and is monitoring the situation of the institute’s facilities. “We continue with our garrisons, now daily, visits and exchanges with the increasingly resigned employees,” Daniela Esposito wrote on Facebook. “In September (quietly and after the vacations) maintenance work on the air conditioning system and the fire-fighting system should begin. The employees of the Museum of Via Risorgimento continue to work hard. One positive note: the presence of a small cold-air column, in the surveillance room, for the employee on duty.”

At the moment, moreover, the National Archaeological Museum in Crotone is the only museum open in the city. Finally, citizens also denounce the failure to reopen the National Archaeological Museum in Capo Colonna, which is located ten kilometers from the city (“closed for technical issues due to lockdown and Covid-19 protocols”: this is the laconic, and obviously unsatisfactory, explanation offered by the management). At Capo Colonna, in fact, only the Archaeological Park has reopened with regular hours, but visitors who wanted to visit the museum as well would currently find the doors barred.

Crotone, citizens denounce serious problems at the National Archaeological Museum
Crotone, citizens denounce serious problems at the National Archaeological Museum

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