The Usages and Customs Museum of the People of Romagna (MET) aims to collect, to order and to study documents about history, economy, dialects and folklore of Romagna, that is its customs and traditions; to promote and publish research about ethnography and material culture, establishing a dialogue with schools and universities; and to promote and spread knowledge of customs, traditions and technologies of Romagna, through cultural events, courses and workshops.
This Museum, with its documents and finds, does not only exhibit objects and images, it also communicates ideas. A “museum of ideas” allows us to see realities, relations, solutions to scientific problems and unsolved problems. In this exhibition, objects become instruments expressing an idea; they lose some of their individuality and become part of the complex system that is culture.
The origins of the Ethnographic Museum of Santarcangelo di Romagna, inaugurated in 1981, date back to the second half of the 60s, when a group of volunteers started a patient and keen project to preserve knowledge about local countryside traditions. Starting from the 70s, research was carried out laying the scientific foundations for the museum, and a “Scientific Committee” was created under Giuseppe Sebesta’s direction. In the same period, the renovation of the town abattoir (built in 1924) took place.
The opening of the Ethnographic Centre for Research and Documentation (C.E.R.D.) dates back to 1985. At this time, research and production of documentary resources was systematically undertaken, providing the Museum with archives and research laboratories, which promote studies on popular traditions, production audiovisual documentaries, temporary exhibitions, study days and educational activities.
In 1989 the second exhibition was inaugurated and the Museum defined and strengthened its organizational structure.
In 1996 the town council gave the Museum managerial and budget autonomy, management organs, extra staff and specially provided regulations. A President and a Board of Directors were nominated, and the Museum logo now included the acronym MET (for Museo ETnografico).
In May 2005 the new organization of the Museum was inaugurated: it was enriched by new objects and documents on individual and collective life.
The history of the Museum is marked by experimentation and successfully completed projects. Its aim is to develop and improve with new acquisitions, new organizations of the exhibitions, and the opening of new spaces in the city and beyond.
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