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Culture chiefs want to turn the whole of El Hierro into “living museum” 


El Hierro wants to turn itself into a “museum island” to make the most of its rich natural resources and cultural heritage.

This would be a first for the archipelago and has been announced as a joint project between the Cabildo and the Canary Government.

The action plan is being launched under the banner of “An island, a museum” and is aimed at increasing knowled-ge about El Hierro’s special habitat and raising awareness of the need for conservation.

Deputy Minister of Culture of the Government of the Canary Islands, Aurelio González, and the president of the Cabildo, Belén Allende, were accompanied by the insular councillor of culture, Pedro García, when full details were presented recently.

Funding to the tune of 90,000 euros will come from the Regional Ministry of Culture and have a biannual execution (2017/2018).

The initiative forms part of the global programme with which the Canary Islands Government works for the recovery of historic roads, symbols of the collective memory and elements of local culture, as well as being instruments for territorial development, memory and identity of the Islands, explai-ned Aurelio González.

It is intended that each place on the island is a room of interpretation of the “great museum of El Hierro” which includes archeology, anthro-pology, ethnography, geology, volcanology and artistic elements and cultural heri-tage. These are some of the issues to be addressed in which the final product will be the deep knowledge of history and life on the island.

The project leaders say that creating the museum across the whole island will allow the visitors to feel at one with the “exhibits” and to get the true feel of El Hierro.

“The interpretive model is not based on the construction of built centres but on the interpretation of the territory, in the physical space itself, through the use of new technologies that do not offer the typical type of visual impact and help to recreate experiences much more sensitive,” they explain.

New technology will play a major role with the use of elements such as QR codes and the 3D heritage information system.

It is also planned to catalogue all El Hierro finds and to retrieve many of them from elsewhere back to the island to go on show.

Maintenance, conservation and protection of the territory will also be looked at.

“It is a cultural legacy that, today, is an opportunity for the conservation of intangible heritage and the environment. They are forgotten elements that make up our identity and the cultural values of the territory,” say the project leaders.