October is a remarkable month in Serbia. On the one hand, October 9th celebrates the National Giving Day, a recurrence underlining the importance of accessibility for people with disabilities. On the other hand, October 10th marks the anniversary, in the distant 1892, of the birth of the writer and diplomat Ivo Andric, Serbian Nobel Prize Laureate.
If you are wondering what do accessibility and this well-known writer have in common, the answer stands in our CoCo Tour project!
CoCo Tour project has the overall objective of securing a smart inclusive and sustainable growth of a targeted area through the implementation of a specific strategy based on community tourism.
How we choose to remember the past and how we choose to move forward are the critical issues of today. What does cultural heritage mean in different national and regional contexts? Who can claim it as theirs, and who decides how it is preserved, displayed, or restored? How to share cultural heritage?
Kristiyan: In a national context, cultural heritage is thought of as something to be proud of. This is a relic left from the past to commemorate the glorious history of ancestors. It is used by the national governments as a tool for the formation of national consciousness, especially among adolescents. In the textbooks they are described as “strongholds of Bulgarian spirit” or “fortresses of Macedonianism”. Excursions are often made there with the task of consolidating the official national narrative in the students. In a supranational context, cultural heritage can unite the communities. In this regard, the attempt of the Council of Europe to develop Cultural Routes is indicative. They act as channels for intercultural dialogue and promote a better knowledge and understanding of European shared cultural heritage.
The project aims at securing a smart inclusive and sustainable growth through a strategy based on community tourism
Within this framework, the Local Democracy Agency Montenegro, as project partner, has been working on the promotion and the establishment of an eco-museum and a community museum in Herceg Novi, in order to emphasize and strengthen smart and sustainable tourism along with accessibility in this fundamental branch of the economy.
And here we come: CoCo Tour project ensured the restoration of the house of the famous novelist Ivo Andric, located in Herceg Novi, in which will be installed the aforementioned eco-museum, paving the way to the establishment of an authentic and innovative touristic offer for the local community.
Such a community museum will be exploited and promoted by individuals, associations of citizens, businesses and institutions, which gathered at the initiative of the LDA Montenegro to present and get to know each other, in accordance to the spirit of the initiative. Indeed, the museum is not the bare exhibition of objects, but rather represents the zeitgeist of the current way of life of the community through the presentation and the preservation of the historical and cultural heritage through crafts, legends as well as culinary-related objects. Moreover, several environments of the museum will ensure the accessibility to people with disabilities, no matter if the disabilities are permanent or temporary.
To celebrate the anniversary of the birthday of the recognized writer, a series of video concerning the project and the stakeholders of the community museum were produced, showcasing not only the Herceg Novi example, but presenting 4 other eco-museums in the Mediterranean area, namely in Korfu, Himara, Tricase and Mezzolonghi.
On this occasion, the video production focused on the points that marked the life of Ivo Andric in Herceg Novi or represented the spirit of the time he lived: from his recently restored house to the Buffet Beograd the writer used to visit across many old town stairs, from the former Boka Hotel Park to the famous promenade Pet Danica.
A special attention was given to the part of the building that depicts very well the way of life in Andric’s time and is also part of the heritage represented in the community museum. It is Villa Galeb – Tito’s villa in Igalo, which tells the story of one epochal peak in life of citizens of ex-Yugoslavia. At that time, every community of Yugoslavia could give and produce its best so here you can find best from the Brac Island, the best Macedonian weaving and tapestry as well as the best Bosnian crafted furniture.
In addition to the eco-museum, which is the main part of the project, the LDA Montenegro will also organize trainings about the accessibility for tourism subjects and stakeholders, in cooperation with the partner organization “Magna Grecia Mare” from Tricase (Italy).
CoCo Tour project is financed by European Union’s IPA CBC ALB-ITA-MNE Programme (INTERREG) and has been implemented by the Albanian Development Fund, as lead organization, together with the Municipalities of Herceg Novi, Himara, Tricase and the Association Magna Grecia Mare.