Olga Andranovici (Moldova)

Will it rain? Interpreting an old rainmaking ritual. Case Study: Contrătești, Republic of Moldova

Presentation: 15 min


Condrătești is a small village in the Republic of Moldova. It lies between the green hills of the Moldovan landscape, along the Cula River. As an old rural village, cultural inheritance is a big part of its identity. Even so, its villagers are not acquainted with the concept of cultural heritage. The natural circumstances of the summer of 2020 became fertile soil to initiate the process of interpreting an old tradition of a rainmaking ritual. It was decided to present that part of the heritage with the help of ethnographic research, re-enactment, and ultimately heritage interpretation. Thus, together with the older villagers and local teachers, it was possible to bring the intangible heritage closer to younger generations and other villages. The small project of bringing back the rainmaking ‘Caloian’ ritual became a catalyzer of community acts for sustainability and left a long-term impact on local awareness of its heritage.


Olga Andranovici is a museographer at the National History Museum of Moldova in Chisinau and is taking a Master’s degree in Cultural Heritage Management at the State University of Moldova. This year Olga finished a Bachelor’s Degree in Cultural Heritage Studies at the ‘Lucian Blaga’ University of Sibiu, the only bachelor’s programme in cultural heritage in Romania.




Elisa Bailey (Spain)

Ephemeral heritage: Socio-political graphics in the public realm, both interpreting and  interpreted

Presentation: 15 min


Popular socio-political visual culture and messaging in the public realm might be considered both a form of interpretation in themselves as well as elements to be interpreted. For how they translate abstract concepts into their own sphere of influence, empowering others to take action, can the creators of stickers, posters, stencils, graffiti and murals also be seen as interpreters? Site-specific examples from across Europe explore how city streets and infrastructure are translated into learning landscapes. Transit spaces are thus converted into sites of interpretation as much as visitable destinations, although the very nature and locations of these interventions also means that – fittingly – their interpretation, documentation and preservation can rarely be overseen by a formal guardian, meaning methods and perspectives are also varied or conflicting, with re-interpretations sometimes even coming from passers-by.


Elisa Bailey is a multilingual curator, interpreter, heritage travel consultant with the motto ‘Curating is Caring’. Elisa has lived in nine countries for work with the V&A Museum in London, the British Film Institute (BFI), Dubai Expo 2020, Guggenheim, Oman Across Ages Museum, Carabinieri Cultural Heritage Tutelary, Sotheby’s, universities, media and cinema. She founded Rise-Rosa-Rage Socio-Political Graphics Archive, researches and publishes on memorials, solidarity, protest and the artist’s role in fighting oppression. She studied at the University of Cambridge, Courtauld Institute of Art, and Harvard University Centre for Hellenic Studies.



Krisztina Balázs-Bécsi (Hungary)

How heritage interpretation enhances formal and informal learning – the case of Szigetvár Castle

Presentation: 15 min


The developments of the Hungarian Palace and Castle Programme between 2015 and 2023 aimed to implement a new exhibition interpretation focusing on heritage education. A team of enthusiastic professionals called on the visitor experience to help locals and visitors to embrace both tangible and intangible heritage. The most successful example is the case of the Szigetvár Castle, where the interpretation managed to break down the walls between cultures, school subjects and types of heritage, connecting the defenders of medieval castles with Baroque epic poetry and the superheroes of 21st century movies. By using the elements of the visitors’ culture to experience the heritage, the past becomes comprehensible and the character and motivation of the hero understandable, while we find out that heritage is a process that continues in the present, and that are not passive observers, but active participants.


Krisztina Balázs-Bécsi is an author, a heritage tourism expert and researcher in heritage education, working for the Hungarian National Heritage Protection and Development Non Profit Ltd. in Hungary.



Zsuzsa Berecz & Árpád Bőczén (Hungary)

Iron Curtain in my backyard – Collaborating with a private heritage site at the Austria-Hungary border

Presentation: 45 min


We will guide our audience through our collaboration with the Iron Curtain Museum, a small private collection at the Austria-Hungary border. Despite its name, the museum is really a non-institutional entity, situated in the vineyard of a former conscript border guard from the 1960s. Our organisation, KÖME the Hungarian Association of Cultural Heritage Managers, launched a development at the site in 2018 in order to make sure it survives. We will give you an overview of the work done so far, focusing on the challenges of developing the place into a sustainable and (more) interpretive learning environment. Some of our questions are: How to think of ownership in the case of heritage on private property? What can be the institutional alternatives for such a personal site? What can be the alternatives that complement and not reduce such a personal interpretation? What if interpretation is paired with artistic creation? We dive into successes and conflicts in order to discover lessons that can become common ones for us, interpreters.


Zsuzsa Berecz is an expert in the study of drama and is a curator in various socio-cultural and artistic contexts, based in Budapest. Her work revolves around transversal knowledge-production and art as a social activity. Zsuzsa is an IE certified interpretive writer, vice-president of the Hungarian Association of Cultural Heritage Managers (KÖME), and active in the field of interpretation, enriching it through her artistic experience.


Árpád Bőczén is the president of the Hungarian Association of Cultural Heritage Managers (KÖME). He graduated as an architect and as a cultural heritage expert. The interpretive approach is the basis of his practical and theoretical work. He is an IE certified trainer and is IE Country Coordinator Hungary.



Árpád Bőczén (Hungary)

Proposal for integrating digital interpretation planning into Interpret Europe’s training programme

Presentation: 15 min


Two of IE’s certified interpretive trainers have started to work on a new training module proposal within the framework of an international cooperation project called MUSE.ar. Digital programmes for three very different sites and a developer interface were also created in the 18-month process which made the continuous reflection on and formation of the training plan possible. The presentation will summarise the concept, the structure, the practical potential of the course and the lessons learnt thanks to the circumstances of the development, in which artists, museum professionals and IT experts were involved to work very closely with each other. We will encourage an open discussion among the audience about the necessity and focus of such a training initiative in the future as well.


Árpád Bőczén is the president of the Hungarian Association of Cultural Heritage Managers (KÖME). He graduated as an architect at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics and as a cultural heritage expert at the Corvinus University of Budapest. The interpretive approach is the basis of his practical and theoretical work. He is an IE certified trainer and is IE Country Coordinator Hungary.



Iva Čaleta Pleša (Croatia)

Macro-regions as a learning landscape: The Adriatic–Ionian Region Cultural Routes Tourism Governance Model – An Opportunity for the EUSAIR area

Presentation: 15 min


Macro-regions are closely connected areas with common needs and challenges. The European Union established macro-regional strategies as a policy framework which allows countries located in the same region to jointly tackle and find solutions to problems or to better use the potential they have in common. So far, four macro-regional strategies have been adopted by the EU: the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (2009), the Danube Region (2010), the Adriatic and Ionian Region (2014), and the Alpine Region (2015). As connected areas they share culture, tradition, cuisine and landscape. The European Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian region (EUSAIR) promotes sustainable economic and social prosperity by improving its attractiveness, competitiveness and connectivity, while preserving the environment and ensuring healthy balanced ecosystems. The EUSAIR strategic project tackling cultural routes governance will be presented to encourage discussion on thinking of heritage interpretation in reaching the goals of EUSAIR and other macro-regional strategies.


Iva Čaleta Pleša works as a Senior Expert Advisor in the Division for European Affairs and Policies at the Ministry of Tourism and Sport of Republic of Croatia. She holds Master’s degrees in French and Russian language and literature, European studies, and Museology and Heritage Management. She is an IE certified interpretive guide and trainer for guides, vice-president of the Croatian Association for Heritage Interpretation, and a tourist guide for Zagreb. With an interest in heritage interpretation for children, she is a member of the working group for developing the IE training module, ‘Interpretation for children’ which will be launched this year.



Elena-Maria Cautiș (Italy)

The ‘interpretation’ dilemma within the Faro Convention and its link to sustainability thinking

Presentation: 45 min


The Faro Convention emphasises the responsibility of public authorities to engage communities in the process of interpreting heritage and respect the diversity of such interpretations. It recognises this as an asset for strengthening both democracy and sustainable development. The link between cultural representation in terms of heritage and sustainable development (in all its forms) has been endorsed numerous times in recent research. Despite this, there is little discussion at the European level with regards to interpretation as a heritage process of self-identification of values in the landscape and the implications this could have for shaping sustainability thinking. I argue this gap could be filled by a holistic approach to heritage management which takes an ontological position rooted in environmental hermeneutics, while employing a transdisciplinary theory of integration of new knowledge and methods of cultural mapping for unearthing marginalised narratives of the landscape.


Elena-Maria Cautiș is a PhD student at the University of Ferrara, Italy, working on a research project focusing on the interpretation of cultural landscapes as an asset for sustainable development. Within this context, part of her fieldwork requires the planning and implementation of participatory cultural mapping experiments and interpretation of cultural landscapes in Rome, Italy and in the village of Mălâncrav, Romania.



Dr. Anna Chatel (Germany)

Creating inclusive interpretive apps

Presentation: 15 min


Smartphone applications offer huge resources for learning, appreciating and conserving our local environment. In the Black Forest in Germany, this information has been largely inaccessible to disabled people. That is why we are working with local organisations for and with disabled people to create an interpretive, inclusive app for the Black Forest Biosphere Reserve. We started with workshops and field trips with the target group to find out their common interests and which application elements they preferred. The evaluations and excursions clearly showed which topics and methods were most popular and which route in the mountains was best suited. In this co-creation process we also integrated gamification elements, which the target group particularly enjoyed.

The process of creating your own interpretive app is getting easier and more diverse every year, and we’re happy to share our results with you to start your own co-created inclusive and interpretive app.


Anna Chatel has a PhD in Biogeography. She received two scholarships for her thesis, Heritage Interpretation for Nature Tourism in the Black Forest, and won the Instructional Development Award (€70,000), an innovative teaching prize, for her course, Heritage Interpretation mobile. She is a lecturer in Heritage Interpretation at the University of Education Freiburg and the University of Freiburg and is currently involved in two ERAMUS+ Heritage Interpretation projects.


Katia Dianina (USA)

Whose Heritage? Contested sites and memory wars in the post-socialist public space

Presentation: 15 min


A conceptual contribution to the theory and practice of heritage interpretation, this presentation will focus on endangered and contested heritage. Using the example of today’s crisis in Ukraine, the presentation will consider the plurality of heritage discourses that frame individual sites and entire cultural traditions in opposing ways to satisfy conflicting target audiences. In Ukraine, as elsewhere, heritage interpretation is essential for addressing the urgent questions of ownership, preservation, and symbolic value. The sustainability of the Kyiv-Pechersk Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Ukraine, is threatened by the unrelenting war and escalating divisions within the church. Who owns the contested monastery, and what will happen to other important Orthodox shrines in the wake of the Russian invasion? Who gets to interpret the contested heritage? This ongoing battle over culture and tradition points to the centrality of heritage interpretation for educational and nation (re)building purposes.


Katia Dianina‘s experience with heritage interpretation ranges from guided tours to academic publications. The topic of safeguarding and negotiating heritage has a long history, and studying how different communities in the past approached the issue provides invaluable insights into understanding our common future; it also offers pathways into practical steps that we can undertake today, when the preservation of heritage as a living, vital tradition is more urgent than ever.



Irina Dobrita (Romania)

The village council as a mechanism for heritage interpretation ‘at home’ in a UNESCO site

Presentation: 15 min


An emergent critical heritage scholarship, as well as relevant organisations, increasingly press for the acknowledgement of contested views on preservation and a more aware and inclusive process of heritage-making. In such a context,
heritage interpretation is called to mitigate both ‘classical threats’ (over-development, mass-tourism) and the ones of the actual production of heritage, in times where society is challenging ‘the monumental’. The paper focuses on one particular citizen participation mechanism devised by a minority 
of custodians in order to broaden acceptance and safeguarding of their heritage among the current majority: an informal village council. An analysis of its merits in mitigating a potentially disruptive conflict – around a road infrastructure modernisation project affecting the UNESCO site – serves as a basis for evaluating the further potential of such mechanisms for both successful heritage interpretation ‘at home’ and cultural mediation.


Irina Dobrita has over a decade’s experience in communication and has until very recently coordinated the activity of Romania’s Center for Cultural Heritage Promotion (set up by the National Institute of Heritage). Interpretation has been at the core of the programming of activities in 2022. As an anthropologist, Irina found it especially interesting to study sites with contested heritage and where grass-root perceptions and practices challenge the official narratives or
the most influential marketing ones.



Marija Dragisic & Ivana Rankovic Miladinovic (Serbia)

Heritage interpretation through the education and engagement of community: The case of zapis

Presentation: 15 min


In the past, every Serbian village had the zapis in its centre; a consecrated tree with a carved cross, around which the community gathered, prayed and ate, thus confirming their unity. Although the consecrated trees are still preserved today, the knowledge about them is modest, and their interpretation is important on several levels. The interpretation plan for the zapis begins with educational workshops that inspire the memory of the former importance of the zapis for the local community and revitalise its gathering. Such workshops were organised a few years ago in the village of Sepci,
when the European Heritage Days were celebrated near the zapis, with discussion from local residents and heritage conservationists. This is followed by an interpretive walk that is developed for visitors being delivered to local
communities. It leads from the zapis, alongside the log church, to the brick church, in the same order in which they appear chronologically in religious practice. Other interpretive services, such as panels or interactive screens,
are planned for the site to independently inform visitors about the zapis as a cultural and natural phenomenon.


Marija Dragisic is an ethnologist, anthropologist and licensed conservator. She has been working at the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Serbia since 2008 in the research and documentation department as a research conservator. For a long time, she has been engaged in educational work with teachers and children on the topic of preserving cultural heritage. Marija also participated in several workshops on earthen architecture and sustainable heritage.


Ivana Rankovic Miladinovic is an art historian and licensed conservator. She has been working at the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Serbia since 2006 in the research and documentation department as a research conservator. For a long time, she has been engaged in educational work with teachers and children on the topic of preserving cultural heritage. 



Barbora Dvorakova (Czech Republic)

Call of Brno – A creative diary for town and people

Presentation: 15 min


How to teach about the city in a creative way? How to convey the topic of its development in an engaging way? How to inspire pupils to care for the place where they live? In this presentation you will get inspired by the ‘Czech way’ and see a brand new creative diary that offers “small ideas for big towns”. You will see the tool that enables educators who want to teach simply and creatively in the place where they live. Cross-curricular material offers hands-on experience and uses attractive tools, such as comics, to tell the story of the town.


Barbora Dvorakova is a freelance heritage interpreter and is the project coordinator for the ZOOM exhibition. She is also interested in sustainable communication. She is the author of various educational materials, exhibitions and trails. Most recently she co-created an example exhibition ZOOM, an exhibition ‘Varied lives in varied forest’, an immersive audio walk ‘Pearls among the dross’ and a book ‘Call of Brno – small ideas for big towns’.



Barbora Dvorakova & Zuzana Jakobova & Bohuslav Binka (Czech Republic)

ZOOM – An interactive exhibition to develop visual literacy

15 min


How to understand photographs and other visual material? In the fast-changing world, the media jungle and the age of social networks, photos, videos and images are becoming the main communication tool. We will virtually invite you to an exhibition which aims to teach children in a fun and interactive way to read photographs, discover the stories behind them, perceive their own emotional reaction or understand the message and intention of a photograph, its context and to reveal possible manipulation. The exhibition is loosely inspired by the popular New York Times series, ‘What’s going on in this picture?’. However, many other sources and the expertise of the authors, designers, graphic designers, photographers, and other professionals involved in the creation and execution of the exhibition were used. The children
themselves were also drawn into the process of creating the exhibition.


Barbora Dvorakova is a freelance heritage interpreter and is the project coordinator for the ZOOM exhibition. She is also interested in sustainable communication. She is the author of various educational materials, exhibitions and trails. Most recently she co-created an example exhibition ZOOM, an exhibition ‘Varied lives in varied forest’, an immersive audio walk ‘Pearls among the dross’ and a book ‘Call of Brno – small ideas for big towns’.


Zuzana Jakobova is a project manager from TEREZA Association and an expert in the field of environmental education. She is the country coordinator of Young Reporters for the Environment, and Director and leader of the Eco-publica award for journalists. She coordinated the development of the ZOOM exhibition.



Angus Forbes (Germany)

Lost and found

Presentation: 15 min


So-called ‘lost places’ hold a strange fascination for us. They seem to preserve relics and encapsulate history within a dance of decay and new growth. The Spreepark is a new public park arising from the overgrown ruins of the GDR’s once famous ‘Kulturpark Plänterwald’ in Berlin. The city’s vision is to secure this, one of the last truly anarchistic zones of Berlin, and to let it be experienced, repurposed and reinterpreted in perpetuity by visitors, artists and wildlife alike. As one of the project’s senior landscape architects, I am responsible for developing experience zones based upon the relics of the funpark. An old car-ride will be transformed into a walkable artwork winding through the forest. A concrete boating canal will be reinterpreted as a dry river bed, providing food for thought on climate change and the scarcity of resources, but also providing niches for adaptive flora and fauna. Let’s take a virtual walk outside our interpretive comfort zone and into the Spreepark.


Angus Forbes is from Scotland, UK, and has 25 years of experience as a landscape architect working in Berlin, Germany. He has been a member of Interpret Europe since 2017, is currently IE Subject Coordinator for Architecture and was author of the 2020 Interpret Europe publication ‘Heritage Interpretation for Architects and Landscape Architects’.



Ruxandra Ghițescu (Romania)

Diffractive interpretation heritage and history through cinema

Presentation: 15 min


Reframing films that challenge our main ideologies within the spaces of heritage sites opens possibilities for dialogue about the individual agency in creating, preserving and re-interpreting heritage. Through film projections and open discussions, heritage and history become a fluid material that one can re-edit and re-mix, gaining agency over heritage and integrating marginalised perspectives. Radu Jude makes a purpose in re-visiting and re-telling history, shifting the perspective to the marginalised. Examples of this are Dead Nation (2017), which incorporates the photo collection of Costică Acsinte, and The Exit of the Trains (2020) co-directed with historian Adrian Cioflâncă, composed entirely of archive documents. Montage films can be personalised by visitors by adding commentaries, memories or family stories, enhancing history by personal touch. The intersection of grand and micro-narratives, as well as a diffractive approach, open up possibilities of meaning and enable imaginative disruption of otherwise orderly environments. 


Ruxandra Ghițescu is a Romanian filmmaker and researcher, a graduate student of the Media Art School, in Karlsruhe, Germany. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Bucharest, “Space, Image, Text, Territory” Doctoral School, Center of Excellence in Image Studies and she works as an associate lecturer at the Ovidius University, Constanța, for the Art of Film Acting Master’s programme. Her debut feature, Otto the Barbarian, premiered in 2020 and received several awards.



Penelope Gkini (Greece)

When was the last time you received a letter?

Presentation: 15 min


The postman’s road: Connecting gorges. This is about a project whose goals are to valorise the cultural landscape of the region of Sfakia in the south west part of Crete through the ancient road of the rural postman that stopped walking on it in 1984. South west Crete is known for its deep canyons and wild landscapes. Isolated with no vehicle access, the mountain range of the Lefka Ori – with more than 30 peaks above 2,000 metres – isn’t just a postcard but a precious resource of water, food, culture and wildlife. This trail gives you the chance to dive into rocky mountains, a pine forest, a sandy coast and enjoy incredible views of the infinite blue of the Libyan sea. Stop wherever you want, take time to make friends, to create habits, to share, to taste, to live. The postman brought good news and bad news, local news and global news, newspapers, medicine, letters from young soldiers and from immigrants to the USA and Australia.


Penelope Gkini took the first interpretive course in Greece in 2015. She has been a mountain leader in Greece since 2007. Her first Master’s degree was in communication and cultural studies and her second was on alternative psychopedagogy. She has worked for the project of the Greek Ministry of Culture on agricultural landscapes and participated in the Delphi EU project. Penelope designed the ‘Postman’s road’ in Sfakia, a project with elements of interpretation. 



Claudia Grünberg & Sandra Nasser (Germany)

Young Climate Action for World Heritage (YCAWH)

Presentation: 45 min


Climate change is the most alarming threat to heritage and a main concern of young people. Hence, the transnational education project YCAWH addresses the threats of climate change and the potential of heritage for driving sustainable action at World Heritage Sites with young people. By combining social, individual, cognitive, emotional, reflective and practical approaches on site, 80 school students from five European countries were motivated to take responsibility: They developed tailor-suited projects, like Escape Rooms, podcasts or peer-to-peer offers, communicating to the communities the site’s values and how they are threatened. Teachers, school communities and World Heritage actors actively worked together in this process, fostering a learning landscape on climate change and World Heritage. YCAWH is a suitable model project to critically reflect on how young people can practice sustainable attitudes and action at heritage sites and what structures and methods are needed for this.


Claudia Grünberg holds a Master’s in World Heritage Studies and has eight years of experience in design and implementation of various education and interpretation projects at World Heritage Sites for a variety of stakeholders. She developed an interpretation strategy for UNESCO-designated sites in Lusatia outlining their potential for sustainable development in the transformation process.


Sandra Nasser holds a Master’s in World Heritage Studies and has worked in drafting World Heritage tentative lists entries. She contributed to the publication ‘Heritage Conservation Revealed’ (BTU Cottbus) with an article concerning awareness-raising and communication to foster behavioural change, touching upon Bandura’s Social Cognitive theory and Burnet’s five steps to reaching behavioural change.



Małgorzata Hordyniec (Poland)

Shelving the ‘expert’ – Embracing the multidimensional nature of heritage landscapes

Presentation: 45 min


As a cultural institution, involved in heritage interpretation, we interpret and share the stories of our region. But whose stories do we tell? What language do we use? And how do these stories affect the local identity? Being an ‘expert’ undeniably gives one the necessary tools to interpret local heritage landscapes. But what if we shelve the role of an expert and embrace the local perspective? Flip the power structure and pass the agency to local people? Through 25 years of organising the Malopolska Days of Cultural Heritage we learnt to connect with local communities and evoke the stories that do not fit our interpretive frames but are meaningful to people. The need for capturing those stories gave life to a new project: Evoked Stories. Instead of using the local perspective on heritage as a support for our stories, we wanted to become a support for the local heritage communities to tell their story. Thus embracing the multidimensional nature of heritage landscapes.


Małgorzata Hordyniec is a social anthropologist by education (University of Warsaw, Poland) and avocation. She is an active member of the Interpret Europe network, a certified interpretive guide, and a certified interpretive writer. At Malopolska Institute of Culture in Krakow, she acts as a ‘field worker’, cooperating with local communities and cultural institutions on heritage interpretation.



Glen Hvenegaard et al (Canada)

Which programme and presenter variables predict successful outcomes for personal interpretation?

Presentation: 15 min


Many park agencies do not effectively evaluate progress toward goals of personal interpretation programmes. This study identified characteristics of the programmes, interpreters, and audiences affecting the outcomes of personal interpretation. In 2018-19, we attended 135 programmes in Alberta’s provincial parks (evaluating programme and interpreter characteristics), interviewed interpreters, and surveyed 763 attendees about six potential interpretive outcomes. We followed Stern and Powell’s (2013) approach to create predictor indices. Programme connections and organisation were positively correlated with learning outcomes. Programme connections and group size were positively correlated with satisfaction and some park-friendly behaviours. Programme length was inversely correlated with positive memories. Interpreter characteristics had few correlations with interpretive outcomes. These results can help interpretive planners and frontline staff manage and improve target outcomes.


Glen Hvenegaard  currently teaches interpretation, park management, and physical geography in the University of Alberta’s Environmental Science programme. He is a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas. He and his colleagues have published extensively on interpretation effectiveness, park management, bird conservation, and nature-based tourism. Currently, he conducts research on the effectiveness of interpretation programmes, and was an interpreter with Alberta Parks.


Elizabeth Halpenny (Professor) and Clara-Jane Blye (PhD student) are in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Julie Ostrem is an interpreter with Parks Canada at Elk Island National Park, Alberta.



Jose Koopman (Netherlands)

Using interpretation to reinforce site experience and marketing for De Wieden National Park

Presentation: 15 min


As an independent association for nature conservation Natuurmonumenten needs the support of members. Marketing is therefore an important aspect. With the help of interpretation methods, the marketeers and interpreters combined forces and developed a process to improve not only interpretive design and place making, but also creating opportunities for income and recruiting members. The presentation will go into the above process. It will include an example of a local interpretive plan. This describes the heritage reserve De Wieden where old crafts are still practiced. The example shows the historical way of life, so visitors can relate to their ancestors, and to the struggle for life. And also to the struggle for energy (peat cutting), which is currently an issue with the gas crisis. The role of conservation in action will be discussed as a means of triggering visitors to support nature and heritage. The enrichment of the marketing plan from an interpretive perspective will be discussed.


Jose Koopman has worked for more than ten years as a specialist on nature and heritage experience and visitor management. He was part of the project team that developed the combined approach of interpretation and marketing for our heritage sites, made interpretive plans for several sites and also advised on implementation of the plans, with a focus on sensory experiences and inclusiveness and diversity.



Patrick Lehnes (Germany)

The potential of heritage and interpretation to transform societies

Presentation: 45 min


In 2019, the Council of the EU referred to culture as a system of shared meanings within a community. The ministers of culture highlighted the transformative role of cultures, in their diversity and richness, as creators of sustainability. This marks a shift towards a hermeneutical paradigm which transcends the cultural sector. Meaning-systems underpin all aspects of life and society. They impact how people make sense of what they encounter, how they perceive themselves and others. Hermeneutics can inspire us to consider what interpretation and heritage may mean for complex societies. Inherited meaning-systems (‘tradition’) can inhibit change. But interpretive encounters at heritage sites can also provoke critical reflection of preconceived meanings. Heritage sites can become focal points of interpretive discourse aiming to make diverse societies more sustainable, inclusive and resilient. How will heritage interpretation need to transform itself to unleash its transformative potential?


Patrick Lehnes has worked as a researcher and freelancer in heritage interpretation since the 1990s. From 2010 to 2015 he served as director of Interpret Europe. In 2018 he was invited to the Structured Dialogue between the European Commission and the cultural sector on social inclusion. Patrick currently serves on the Expert Advisory Board of CHARTER, the European Cultural Heritage Skills Alliance.



Chuck Lennox & Ariadna Reida (USA)

Nurturing a movement of environmental interpreters in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia

Presentation: 45 min


Work has been underway over the last few years in the three countries of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia adjacent to the Black Sea to support the development of interpretive networks through virtual training, on-site workshops and collaboration with a US-based NGO: Earth Island Institute. Educators at botanical gardens, in schools, outdoor programmes, a zoo and a monastery have been introduced to the basics of environmental interpretation and how it applies to their audiences. And in addition, how interpretation can be used as a tool to increase awareness of audiences for taking action on local issues. The opportunities and challenges of working with these groups will be identified and discussed especially in a cross-cultural context.


Chuck Lennox is the owner at Lennox Insites (US), a consultancy focused on the visitor experience. Chuck works with clients to design and develop extraordinary visitor experiences through planning, training and media development. He is a Lead Trainer and a Certified Interpretive Planner for the US National Association for Interpretation (NAI).


Ariadna Reida works for the International Programs for Environmental Education and Interpretation at the Earth Island Institute (US). Ariadna is an interpretive trainer specially versed in interpretive planning. She holds a Master’s degree in

environmental studies. Having co-founded the Siberian Association for Interpretation, she currently helps clients explore the use of interpretation as a tool to solve environmental problems. 



Cristina Locatelli (Italy)

The unsung adventures of an ubiquitous interpreter – The audio guide

Presentation: 45 min


The first handheld interpretive device was a hacked hearing aid working through radio waves and it was soon abandoned by its champion because it was financially unsustainable. That was back in 1952. Fast forward twenty years and these ‘gadgets’ would become the most popular and ubiquitous device ever to enter the heritage sector. It was indeed a fortuitous coincidence that the audio guide accompanied the first blockbuster exhibition in the USA, or perhaps it was also thanks to its interpretive support that the people finally gained access to what had been until then an elitist entertainment. This presentation will offer an overview on historical events and consider how technological advancements, like random access to audio tracks, have impacted heritage interpretation. A final reflection will be dedicated to how new technologies (e.g. augmented reality) could contribute to turning living landscapes into learning ones, affording people a glimpse of potential futures to come.


Cristina Locatelli is a specialist in Museum Studies and has worked for the Dalì Foundation in Spain and for the Learning Department at the Tate in London, UK. She has developed educational tours, multimedia and audio guides, in-gallery texts and booklets, family events and artist-made visitor resources. After a research experience in Digital Humanities, she has worked developing digital content and consulting on museum accessibility since 2018.



Maaret Louhelainen (Finland)

Locality in learning landscapes: Rural, suburban, municipal – the many aspects of a museum site

Presentation: 15 min


Lagstad school was built as the first public primary education school in Espoo in 1873. Located in the school teacher’s house, the aim is to develop a new museum concept, which would enable independent use, attract new audiences reflecting the multicultural neighbourhood and act as a platform for participation and promotion of equal access to education. The surroundings of Lagstad school consist of rich heritage with two nationally significant cultural landscapes: The Great Coastal Route and medieval Espoo Cathedral. The area has still rural traces of old farmhouses yet it is situated in the middle of modern suburbia, thus telling a story of a developing city and society. Key points of a workshop held for local residents will also be shared in the presentation: What are the elements that makes the local community’s vicinity important? What could add to the sense of belonging to the local area? and What kind of cooperation is needed to foster their locality?


Maaret Louhelainen is a heritage professional in cultural landscapes and the built environment working in the museum field for over 15 years. Currently working as a curator of cultural environments in Espoo City Museum, they hold a degree in landscape studies, museology and cultural history and restoration of historic buildings.



Ágnes Erzsébet Mácsai (Hungary)

Evaluation work targeting the cooperation of artists, heritage sites and IT experts – the MUSE.ar case

Presentation: 15 min


MUSE.ar was an international project bringing artists, museum collections and digital developers closer to each other. During the two year process an online platform was developed, which serves as a tool for heritage sites and artists from different backgrounds to build their own digital narratives in an easy and cost-effective way. In the framework of the project, we experimented with a new kind of interpretation based on the co-creation model, which was accompanied by a systematic evaluation process. How can artists, sites, IT and other professionals work together in the development of digital programmes so that they go beyond the classic client-service provider roles and create a new kind of knowledge sharing and decision making process resulting in a more balanced operating model? The results can help the planning and implementation of other interpretation developments with the best possible use of resources.


Ágnes Erzsébet Mácsai is an evaluator and audience researcher based in Budapest, Hungary. She participates in Hungarian and international museum interpretation and other cultural projects as an external expert. She was a member of the evaluation team of the MUSE.ar international project. She is also a lecturer at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest (MOME).



Ivana Manevska (Serbia)

The power of the curator: Exploring the influence of physical and interpersonal characteristics on exhibit interpretation

Presentation: 15 min


According to Thompson (1993), by visiting a museum, people learn and obtain information, gain enjoyment and acquire an aesthetic, exciting experience. These emotional effects have a positive influence on a visitor’s satisfaction. This research explored the physical and interpersonal characteristics of the curators, volunteers, gallery and tour guides, who guided visitors at a thematic exhibition. The diverse spectrum of interpreter profiles provided an ideal opportunity to gain insight into the visitor experience. A questionnaire was distributed to visitors at the Gallery Matica Srpska to request feedback on their guided tour experiences at the Exhibition Uros Predic: A Life Dedicated to Beauty and Art. In the survey, 313 visitors over the age of 18 were interviewed and they reviewed the interpretive approach of the guides and volunteers. The findings of this research are relevant to managers of cultural institutions and in particular to curators and tour and gallery guides.


Ivana Manevska‘s experience with interpretation began in 2022 when she decided to volunteer at the Gallery of Matica Srpska as a curator assistant. She was also really interested in the field of interpretation and did her Master’s thesis on ‘Possibilities for better interpretation of cultural and natural heritage in National Park Fruska Gora’. In the spring of 2022 Ivana did an internship at the Novi Sad Children’s Cultural Center, where she helped guide children through an exhibition and literature route in the National Park Fruska Gora. She has also conducted two post-doctoral research projects: one explored the use of immersive technologies as interpretative tools in cultural institutions, and the second focused on the impact of curators’ physical and interpersonal characteristics on the interpretation of exhibits.



Emma McNamara & Pamela Smith (UK)

Pleasure gardens – Making these historic gems relevant for today and the future

Presentation: 45 min


The historic pleasure grounds of our cultural heritage gardens were used to promote and enjoy the pleasures of nature and landscapes; understanding the historical context and how they were designed helps us to understand and interpret the gardens for our visitors, engaging them in the history and experiencing the seasons and as health and wellbeing spaces. Modern tracking techniques, such as GPS and GIS, can be used to understand how visitors use these spaces today, and we can interpret the sites for this modern-day audience whilst also using the data to understand how we can target the information in the right way for the best learning goals of our audiences. The data collection and the historical context of the gardens enables interpretation to be sited in the right places and in an accessible way for visitors to learn about the history and how we can protect them for the future.


Emma McNamara‘s recent PhD thesis has been researching tourism to cultural heritage sites and how the use of information and interpretation can guide the visitors around the heritage and engage them in the conservation programme. Interpretation of the site produces better experience results and improved conservation standards. Emma has worked for the National Trust in the UK for 11 years with a key focus on interpretation of the gardens and how they can be accessible to all.



Pamela Smith is a senior national consultant for gardens and parklands. She is a horticulturist with over 35 years of experience in public parks, botanic gardens and historic landscapes. Her research interests include urban botanical heritage and how it can be used to engage communities as part of the processes of urban planning.



Michal Medek (Czech Republic)

Visitor research and segmentation – Does it still make sense?

Presentation: 15 min


The presentation will challenge the mechanical approach to visitor segmentation and broaden perspectives on visitor research. It will also discuss several examples of good and bad practice in visitor research and thus foster reflection on the theory and practice of heritage interpretation as a discipline.


Michal Medek has been pioneering the field of heritage interpretation in the Czech Republic for 15 years. He studied HI at UHI, UK, receiving PgCert apart from having MSc. in Geography, Biology and Geology (combined) and MA in Environmental Humanities. Michal works on various interpretation projects in his role as director of the Czech Institute for Heritage Interpretation and he also lectures in HI at Masaryk University, Brno. Michal is an IE certified interpretive trainer for guides, writers and planners.



Zrinka Mileusnić (Slovenia)

Heritage interpretation learning landscapes: A view from higher education

Presentation: 15 min


Universities are mainly viewed as formal institutions with a closed and academic approach to teaching about heritage and a minor impact on heritage interpretation for the general public. This presentation will show an example of a strategic system of teaching heritage in formal and informal activities that include different types of learners. By adapting the teaching for each learning group, we are implementing various levels of heritage interpretation. We will look at the way of teaching that has led to the establishment of the UNESCO Chair of Interpretation and Education for Enhancing Integrated Heritage Approaches, along with its activities on establishing complex and integrated learning landscapes by intertwining formal and informal teaching for different types of learners. This includes considering the environment from the aspect of cultural and natural heritage and fostering the transfer of knowledge from the public to the formal teaching environments and vice versa.


Zrinka Mileusnić is the head of the Department of Archaeology and Heritage at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Primorska in Slovenia. She is alo an active member and one of the founders of the UNESCO Chair of Interpretation and Education for Enhancing Integrsated Heritage Approaches. She has been involved in different projects and activities of heritage promotion and heritage education for different types of learners. She also organises the International summer schools of museology. She teaches different heritage courses and integrates interactive types of learning and teaching, including students and local public and local heritage.



Beth Môrafon (UK)

Landscapes; interpreting the picturesque

Normal presentation: 15 min (followd by 10 min discussion)


Discover how VisitMôr interpreted 11 miles of navigable UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) through the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB, Wales, UK. Steeped in historic significance, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, ‘the waterway in the sky’, opened in 1805 with 8,000 spectators watching a procession of boats, music and gunfire. Exploring themes of the picturesque, feats of engineering and design, plus travel and tourism, the interpretation tells the story of the people that shaped the valley. Pioneering engineers, artists, influencers, entrepreneurs, and canal labouring navigators are some of the historic characters to make their mark. The presentation will compare the Interpretation Action Plan, which helped secure £1.4 million from the National Heritage Lottery Fund for the 5-year wider Landscape Partnership Scheme, with the final interpretation for eight spectacular WHS destinations. On behalf of the client, further local digital and community engagement conceived in the plan will be featured.


Beth Môrafon is the Director of VisitMôr consultancy, creating magical ways for people to reconnect with natural and cultural heritage. She is also Chair of the UK’s Association for Heritage Interpretation (AHI). Formerly, she dedicated 20 years to designing and planning interpretation with the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and WWT Consulting for councils, NGOs, and highly designated sites across the UK and overseas.



Eleonora Narvelius (Sweden)

Terrorscapes, leisurescapes, migrantscapes? (Re)interpreting European heritage sites associated with expulsions and forced migrations in the wake of the 2015 migrant crisis

Presentation: 15 min


Although iconography of contemporary global migrations is quite well-established, it is not an easy task to interpret European heritage sites and landscapes associated with historical forced displacements for the newcomers (global migrants, refugees and persons under the Temporary Protection Directive, among others). The presentation will focus on three heritage sites and the surrounding landscapes associated with memories about the expulsions and forced displacements of the 20th century: the historical park of Monte Sole (Italy), Museu Memorial de l’Exili (Spain) and Museum of the resettled and expellees in Pławna Górna (Poland). The argument runs that complexity of their characteristics, owing to their often ethically contrasting but in practice not mutually exclusive functionality (being a terrorscape does not exclude the opportunity of being simultaneously a leisurescape), paves the way for new interpretations. In the long run, the ambition should be to open these narratives for participation and engagement of newly arrived migrant groups.


Eleonora Narvelius is a university lecturer in Applied Cultural Studies at Lund University where she has studied the heritage of forced migrations and vanished European populations since 2012. Critical Heritage Studies is one of her key research interests. She has regularly visited ACHS conferences and published on the subject of Europeanisation of cultural heritage in Ukraine, Poland and Sweden.



Adina-Maria Popa, Loredana Adriana Patrascoiu & Cristina Toma (Romania)

Touch, see, hear: The Geopark’s heritage explained through inclusive learning techniques

Presentation: 15 min


Learning about natural and cultural heritage is among the objectives of the Hateg Country UNESCO Global Geopark. An interdisciplinary team of teachers and students from the University of Bucharest is working on implementing a way to
facilitate learning experiences. We promote universal design learning in the context provided by the interpretation of science through storytelling with digital support through an open-access platform. Graphic representations can be
explored independently by any person, regardless of the learning mode (universal design), using a mobile application based on innovative software. Information is structured using storytelling techniques. With the help of artificial intelligence algorithms, it is possible to track images with fingers, and the information is read through voiceover via a QR code. We can customise the information in specific areas of the picture. Thus, educational and therapeutic interest is maintained, and learning experiences are eased.


Adina-Maria Popa is a team member of the Hateg Country UNESCO Global Geopark Romania. She coordinates the EduGeopark network to develop educational programmes for students and teachers. Adina is also in charge of the Geopark’s PR & communication and is a specialist in various interpretive projects of the geopark. She has been a
member of Interpret Europe since 2021.


Loredana–Adriana Pătrășcoiu, from the University of Bucharest, has 20 years of experience in education quality management and services. She has initiated local and international projects for school inclusion of children with special
needs, promoting quality for all.


Cristina Toma is doing a PhD in Geoheritage Interpretation at the Faculty of Geography, University of Bucharest, and is an interpretation expert for Hațeg Country UNESCO Global Geopark. She has been a member of Interpret Europe since 2020 and is IE’s subject coordinator for Geological Heritage.



Ana Radovanac Živanov (Serbia) 

Learning landscapes as an educational tool for heritage interpretation – The case of the Kalemegdan fortress in Belgrade

Presentation: 15 min


Learning landscapes allow us to generate personalised learning environments. They can also respond to visitors’ needs by providing an audiovisual, intuitive, and functional environment that allows us to capture visitor attention, making the content more attractive, achieving greater retention of concepts, and enhancing their digital competence. The presentation will showcase a project of the civil society in Belgrade around the Fin de siècle and during the first decades of the 20th century. More than any other part of today’s Belgrade, the walls of Kalemegdan fortress witnessed many important historical events and preserves the largest part of the cultural heritage of our country. Apart from all the historical layers that we can trace, the development of civil society can also be linked to the life of the fortress and the grandiose park that surrounds it. Several phenomena are encountered, all supported by a dozen interpretive services. We will look at some evaluation results and recognise the fundamental elements that characterise learning landscapes, which could be used for future planning as well as for benchmarking.


Ana Radovanac Živanov is an Art Historian and licensed conservator, and has worked at the Institute for the protection of Cultural Monuments of Serbia since 2011. She is an associate in the Research Department and also a PhD candidate in History of Art, Museology and Seminar of Heritage studies, in the Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade University. Ana primarily deals with the protection of immovable cultural assets, but also has contact with heritage revitalisation, which includes interpretation.



Roxana-Talida Roman (Romania)

Heritage Quest – The wisdom of the past

Presentation: 15 min


When we talk about future sustainable developments we tend to forget that in the past most traditional communities used to be sustainable, their livelihoods became unsustainable just around the time local communities were cut out of heritage. Cultural heritage as inheritance of past worlds narrates a story not just about a certain type of anthropogenic interventions but also about socio-political contexts, cultural identity and ways of living, belonging and resilience. Heritage interpretation has the potential to bring widely forgotten features of the past to life and make them actively matter in the present. By engaging the UNESCO serial, ‘The Wooden Churches of Maramureș’, the concept of creating learning landscapes through heritage interpretation can be probed. Approaching heritage from a value-based interpretation perspective fosters an understanding of how the past can empower the present by opposing time validated good practice scenarios to seemingly lofty global challenges.


Roxana-Talida Roman‘s areas of expertise include research of the human past, heritage assessment, and interpretation of material culture through hands-on research. Being characterised by an interdisciplinary approach to research, she sees cultural heritage as an antidote to violence, conflicts and social development issues due to its capacity to advance the promotion of knowledge, mutual celebration of diversity and cultural pluralism.



Vered Sabag (Israel)

Inclusiveness through cognitive accessible heritage interpretation on heritage sites in Israel

Presentation: 15 min


People with intellectual disabilities, autism, learning disabilities and cognitive decline are a community that tends to be forgotten. They experience barriers such as complexity in understanding the site’s story, difficulty sensing the exhibits behind display cases, and more.

In our work in heritage sites and museums in Israel, we make the sites accessible to the community of visitors with cognitive disabilities .We have created methods that make them accessible by using:

       Sensory sets, replicas and 3D models

       Videos, audio tour systems and information brochures in simple language

       Scripts in simple language, using a lot of senses and involving the participants during the tour

All of these allow the delivery to be accessible to communities that until now have been prevented from reaching due to cognitive barriers. The presentation will review examples from Israel’s top heritage sites, using simple and inexpensive interpretation, which enable a response to wider and more diverse audiences.


Vered Sabag is the Vice President of Education at the Lotem Association, that has been guiding trips and activities in nature for people with disabilities for the past 20 years. She also manages the ‘Get to Know’ Accessible Centre, which promotes accessibility projects in Israel. Vared is specialised in the development of accessibility projects in museums and heritage sites and works with the leading museums in Israel.



Michaela Smidová & Eliška Pekárková (Czech Republic)

Interpreting the heritage of national minorities in the National Museum, Prague

Presentation: 15 min


The presentation introduces two educational programmes that have been offered by the National Museum, Prague, Czech Republic. The programmes, aimed at the target audience of school children, take place in the permanent exhibition, History of the 20th Century, and offer a different perspective than the mainstream one presented by the exhibition. The programmes focus on the history, language, culture and experience of Slovaks in the time of Czechoslovakia, a state where both Czechs and Slovaks lived together, as well as after the country’s dissolution as a significant national minority in the Czech republic. We present the realisation of the programmes, their evaluation from the participants, the fulfillment of the programmes’ objectives (encouraging multicultural dialogue, flourishing the values of tolerance, empathy and intercultural cooperation) and the further possibilities of using its interpretative methods for similar activities.


Michaela Smidová is a historian, a former History teacher and a current Acting Head of the Centre for Presentation of Cultural Heritage, a department of the National Museum of the Czech Republic that focuses on museum and cultural heritage presentation, interpretation and communication. Her research focuses on the heritage of national minorities and its presentation and interpretation, as well as various topics related to the social responsibility of museum institutions.


Eliška Pekárková is a historian and a museum educator at the Department of Education and Cultural Activities of the National Museum of the Czech Republic. She creates educational programmes for the historical permanent and temporary exhibitions. Her research focuses on the Jewish history, history of national minorities and didactics of History.



Aleš Smrekar (Slovenia)

Interpretation of biodiversity and heritage of pile dwellings at Ljubljansko barje, Slovenia

Presentation: 15 min


The presentation will focus on the interpretation of the biodiversity and natural and cultural heritage of pile dwellings in the area of UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps. The aim is to illustrate the organic link between the conservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage (i.e. pile dwellings) at the Ljubljansko barje using a combination of classic and modern methods and interpretation tools. For this purpose, the interpretation centre, the connecting educational trail and the reconstructed pile dwelling settlement were built and equipped with interpretation tools.


Aleš Smrekar holds a PhD in Geography and is Head of the Institute’s Department of Environmental Protection. He is also an IE certified interpretive guide and IE certified interpretive writer. He mainly deals with nature conservation, but also works on interpretation of natural and cultural heritage. He is the co-author of the content presented, responsible for nature interpretation.



Loredana Stasisin (Romania)

When a window is more than a window… or not. The restoration of the Water Treatment Plant in Giurgiu

Presentation: 15 min


The Water Treatment Plant in Giurgiu, was built in 1910 as a response to an acute sanitary local crisis and after long debates and financial struggle. Still in operation, the actual historical monument preserves, in-situ, equipment and installations dating back to 1928-29, such as the Swiss Sülzer pumps, as well as the single-girder overhead travelling crane installed prior to WWI, which is still in use. The built structure reveals today the extended shape from the late 1920s and the exterior decorations, bearing significant traces of the arguable interventions from the early 2000s. In 2022, Apa Service Giurgiu was granted a fund by the National Institute of Heritage to develop a complex restoration solution aiming not only to preserve the architectural, technical and historical structures, but to activate the space as a cultural and educational local landmark. During the first development phase of the project, one particular aspect found its way to the centre of the debate among the multitude of stakeholders involved: the windows. In an attempt to extrapolate this particular case study from Giurgiu to the systemic complexity of the dynamics involved in the negotiation process, the presentation taps into the socio-economic, cultural and political interdependencies that influence the construction of a foundational philosophy of intervention.


Loredana Stasisin is a Romanian architect based in Amsterdam. She is specialised in the architectural heritage of the 20th century, following a post-master training in France, at ENSA Paris-Belleville. Since 2016, she has been a member of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies. In 2017, she was awarded the best paper on the topic ‘Authenticity and Built Heritage’ at the REHAB International Conference in Portugal for a bottom-up comparative urban analysis methodology meant to identify local specificities. She is the president of the Rhabillage Association, an NGO focused on the integration of cultural heritage in the urban development process.



Tea Štifanić & Manuela Hrvatin (Croatia)

What’s your interpretation centre management model?

Presentation: 15 min


In the past years, Croatia has seen a fruitful development of visitor and interpretation centres fostered by the Ministry of Tourism that financed the construction or renovation of interpretation centres focused on presenting heritage, especially through multimedia experience. But, what happens within the interpretation centre after the ribbon-cutting ceremony? What are the business models in use and to what level are they sustainable? One of the largest pieces of research on management of visitor or interpretation centres in Croatia has been conducted in the frame of the EU project Interreg ADRILINK. A questionnaire sent to 84 interpretation centres in Croatia received a response rate of 55%. The research investigated whether the interpretation centres are managed systematically and strategically with the aim of their sustainability, i.e. whether there are certain models of good management that could be transferred as an example of good practice to other territories.


Tea Štifanić has been managing projects for the Vrsar Tourist Board on heritage interpretation, community development, participatory decision-making processes and development of events fostering non-economic relations between locals and visitors. She is currently the advisor for visitor and interpretation centers for Vrsar municipality.


Manuela Hrvatin is an IE certified interpretive guide and IE’s former Country Coordinator Croatia. She leads the Practice for Interpretation of Cultural Heritage on the Culture and Tourism studies at the University of Juraj Dobrila in Pula and teaches at the postgraduate specialist study Adapting to the European Union at the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Zagreb. 



Orsolya Szilágyi, Szilamér Péter Pánczél & Katalin Sidó (Romania)

Interpreting the layered heritage of Călugăreni/Mikháza

Presentation: 15 min


Călugăreni/Mikháza is a traditional village in Transylvania. During Antiquity, this region was part of the vast defensive system (limes) of the Roman Empire, protecting Dacia’s eastern frontier. Besides its very important Roman heritage, the village still has a standing 17th century Franciscan friary and a handful of vernacular style farmsteads. These three are all an integral part of the village landscape, and create a complex challenge in how to protect and present them in the most faithful way possible. The imminent WHS status of the Roman archaeological site provokes new community and visitor friendly solutions for the development of the Călugăreni/Mikháza Archaeological Park. This presentation will showcase the various challenges and solutions that arise.


Orsolya Szilágyi has been working for the Mureș County Museum since 2016. Her main research interests are archaeological heritage management and the history of 19th century archaeological research in Transylvania. She’s been organising workshops related to community involvement and presenting Roman heritage to the public for over five years.


Szilamér Péter Pánczél & Katalin Sidó participate in the creation of workshops and organise events dedicated to the popularisation of Roman heritage. They have also taken part in and coordinated international projects pertaining to Roman archaeology. They both currently work for the Mureș County Museum.



Roxana Tanase-Sahanagiu (Romania)

Opening the borders of foreign language picturebooks in pedagogy – Their use in supporting the creation of learning landscapes through heritage interpretation

Presentation: 15 min


This presentation will analyse the use of picturebooks in foreign languages as catalysts for building heritage-centered themes (taking Tilden’s principles into consideration) that can support the creation of learning landscapes. By taking children to patrimonial spaces and introducing them to cultural content via picturebooks in playful organised ways, it is possible to build cultural bridges. Exposing them to various cultural references helps them understand the need to collectively build an inclusive community. Storytelling connects the young audience to the narrative and brings forth cultural themes that the text, illustrations and language may suggest, but not develop further due to lack of context. The next stage is that of exploring the themes more by using other pedagogies that can build a more complex learning experience if employing the participation of interdisciplinary teams that can generate different perspectives that can work together within the sole matrix of learning landscapes.


Roxana Tanase-Sahanagiu enrolled in postgraduate studies at the CESI (Romania’s Centre for Excellence in Image Studies) in 2022. Her research focuses on world literature, aspects of literacy in picturebooks and the cultural impact a collection of picturebooks in foreign languages can have on children’s education. While she doesn’t have formal studies or experience in heritage interpretation, the field intersects with her research and is of high interest.



Laura Time & Raluca Zaharia (Romania)

Peleș Terraced Gardens: Heritage interpretation between architecture, landscape and a city

Presentation: 15 min


Peleș Castle in Sinaia, the summer residence of the Romanian monarchy, is famous world-wide. However, little is known about its terraced gardens and historical park. Nowadays the typical visitor experiences half of what was once the gardens of King Carol I, the visit being focused on the history, the building and the impressive collection of cultural heritage on display in the museum. At the same time, the site fails to present its undeniable importance in Sinaia’s stories and development. Limited knowledge and lack of heritage interpretation adds to the complicated site management situation (private property historical domain, two castles housing the National Peleș Museum, little maintenance being made). The National Institute of Heritage (INP) has enlisted the Peleș Terraced Gardens Project in the National Restoration Programme, its objective being to preserve, restore and interpret that particular heritage through surveys, field and historical studies.


Laura Time is from Sinaia and has started working on her PhD thesis after discovering heritage interpretation in 2020. The experience spurred on even more passion in developing a detailed analysis of the town’s exceptional setting and ways of raising awareness about our heritage’s capacity for building communities and enriching their wellbeing.


Raluca Zaharia, as a certified heritage specialist and former member of ARCHÉ Association, has given private cultural heritage tours as part of different projects, e.g. The Constanța Casino, part of the Art Nouveau Project (2018), and Cișmigiu Gardens.



Cristina Toma & Cristian Ciobanu (Romania)

Dragons and fires: Community driven geoheritage interpretation in post communist societies

Presentation: 45 min


In communism, the theory shows an ideal community where the goods, the values and space are shared equally by the citizens. However, forcing people to be part of a community by giving up their valuables (resources, property, freedom) and often even depriving them of their means of survival, is far from an ideal. The result is that the citizens do not see the newly formed community as their own, but as the State’s. The special situation of post-communist Romania makes any attempt of heritage conservation, interpretation and development a difficult challenge. We will present how the concept of UNESCO Global Geoparks is used to tackle these difficulties and to transform problematic rural areas into model territories of development. We will show some of the practical techniques used and illustrate them with case studies from the Hateg Country UNESCO Global Geopark and Buzau Land UNESCO Global Geopark.


Cristina Toma is doing a PhD in Geoheritage Interpretation at the Faculty of Geography, University of Bucharest, and is an interpretation expert for Hațeg Country UNESCO Global Geopark. She has been a member of Interpret Europe since 2020 and is IE subject coordinator for Geological Heritage.


Cristian Ciobanu works at the Hațeg Country UNESCO Global Geopark, University of Bucharest. His scientific preoccupations include heritage interpretation using space perception, the sacred geography of the Hațeg region, and a whole series of the geographies of perception.



Mara Vida & Ioan Bârsan (Romania)

Two villages, eight houses and eight stories from Ținutul Pădurenilor for a sustainable re-interpretation

Presentation: 15 min


Romanian villages have preserved an ancient character. This is because the magical and religious activities dominate the soul of the Romanian peasant to the most intimate, colouring all other activities, all expressions of the village life community. Bunila is a township located in the west of the county of Hunedoara, part of Ținutul Pădurenilor (The Foresters Land) – pinnacle villages settled around large, round surfaces that form terraced hills. In the past, most of its inhabitants were employed at the Alun marble quarry, whose history began in the 19th century. Bunila stands out for its unique marble road and the particularity of the local marble in the construction of traditional houses. These villages are now uninhabited and in danger of being modernised. To protect this heritage, we must help people understand it (be it natural environment or anthropogenic), thus giving them the opportunity to collectively reinvent and reinterpret the surrounding space.


Mara Vida discovered heritage interpretation in 2022 when she joined an IE Certified Interpretive Planner (CIP) course. In her PhD thesis, she is studying the sustainable development of a Metropolitan area from Romania.

Ioan Bârsan is an engineer from Sighisoara and is a founding member of the SalvaSat Association whose main objective is to preserve the traditional village and its regional characteristics. We want to achieve the revival of this typical Romanian village, with unchanged customs, with hardworking people and happy in their simplicity: a village like a huge open-air museum.



Ondrej Vitek & Jitka Korinkova (Czech Republic)

The Sh*t Project – ‘Number two’ in nature responsibly

Presentation: 15 min


The Bohemian Paradise Protected Lanscape Area is one of the most visited protected areas in Czechia. Some visitors leave a lot behind, including their rubbish and biological waste along trails. It is disgusting and it can spread diseases. The Sh*t Project started here to open discussion, to increase knowledge in how and why and to change visitors’ behaviour. Project activities focus so far mainly on kids. The success of the project has ignited interest from another areas, thus this good practice is about to spread much more widely.


Ondrej Vitek is a long-term member of Interpret Europe as well as the Czech Alliance for Local Heritage Interpretation. He is an IE certified interpretive guide since 2016 and a certified interpretive trainer since 2018. Ondrej uses his interpretation skills not only in his visitor monitoring and management position in the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic, but also in his private activities focused on sustainable tourism. A Czech-made outdoor toilet trowel is the newest item in his e-shop.


Jitka Korinkova has been a director of the Bohemian Paradise Alliance destination agency since 2019. In her job she is focused on sustainable development, local production and local inhabitants’ needs. She started The Sh*t Project in Bohemian Paradise as the first destination in the Czech Republic. And now other destinations are going to engage what is the first success on the long way to a clean Czech countryside.



Mark Wallis (UK)

Make do and mend: How costumed live interpretation can seduce visitors into sustainability

Presentation: 15 min


In these days of cheap, ready to wear, poorly-made clothing, mass produced in sweatshops, who in the First World now bothers to darn socks or repair clothes? It’s so easy to throw them out and replace them with new. But, through the use of costumed live interpretation, visitors to heritage sites and landscapes can learn how, until the recent past, most people lovingly preserved their best clothes (worn on special occasions and Sundays) whilst carefully ensuring the long life of their everyday garments. And this careful behaviour didn’t just apply to clothing, but to objects as well, whether useful or ornamental. Visitors to natural or man-made heritage sites, for whatever reason they have come, can perhaps learn how to live a better, more sustainable existence by discovering some of the ways our ancestors coped with life and how they lived with nature (sometimes in harmony, sometimes in conflict). Thus a lively, well-informed, correctly dressed (for the interpreter’s sex, class, region, age) costumed interpreter can involve visitors in their stories and create lasting memories that all can share.


Mark Wallis is the founder of Past Pleasures and for 27 years held Europe’s largest daily contract for costumed live interpretation, with Historic Royal Palaces in the UK; until Covid struck. Mark has been recognised for his work in the field by the UK’s Association for Heritage Interpretation (AHI), which made him a Fellow. He continues to train site staff for various museums and heritage sites in the UK, USA, Hungary and Australia.



Manjola Xhaferri (Albania)

Deformation and destruction of cultural and historical objects in Albania: A case study of the city of Tirana

Presentation: 15 min


Cultural monuments are disappearing day by day in Tirana; of the 260 in total, almost half of them are villas and private residences that have been allowed to collapse or degrade. Why should Tirana’s historical monuments be demolished? It is not a question of a growing capital and the establishment of new neighbourhoods. The issue is how the historical development of Tirana is being simultaneously erased, along with the culture of traditional rural origin – from antiquity and the Middle Ages to the formation of Tirana as the capital in 1920, the rise of Tirana with European features in the 1920s-30s, and the objects and urban environments typical of the socialist period (including those of the so-called Stalinist or Russian architecture). Tirana was a historical mix, beautiful and complex, well-known and intriguing, developed and traditional. We will look at some examples that show that Tirana has, within a decade, lost all the value of a historical city and the question we ask is: What is Tirana today? – The European City of Youth, the city of chaos and noise, or the city that buried history for multi-story buildings without a sensitive urban plan?


Manjola Xhaferri has been a lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the

‘Aleksandër Moisiu’ University, Durrës, for more than 15 years. She holds a degree

in History from the University of Tirana, a Master’s in History with a profile in Ethnology from

the University of Tirana, and a Doctorate in Ethnology and Folklore from the Center for

Albanological Studies in Tirana. In November 2022, she became an Associate Professor. Manjola lectures in History of Albania, Ethnology, and Albanological Studies, and is author and co-author of more than 70 publications in scientific journals.


Adina Nicoleta Candrea & Florin Nechita (Romania)

Using thematic trails for natural heritage interpretation in ecotourism destinations: Evidence from Ţara Dornelor, Romania.

Presentation: 15 min


Interpretation trails facilitate environmental education in ecotourism destinations as they enhance tourists’ learning experiences and may influence pro-environmental behavior onsite. Ecotourism in Romania has evolved from the existence of isolated ecotourism programmes proposed by local or national tour operators, to integrated ecotourism destinations developed and promoted by the Association of Ecotourism in Romania in partnership with national authorities. Several thematic trails were created as valuable tools for environmental education, outdoor lessons and interactive experiences. This presentation provides a case-study approach regarding the use of interpretative trails in a Romanian ecotourism destination, Ţara Dornelor, which benefits from four interpretation trails revealing: the local traditional cultural landscape, the unique world of the peat bog, as well as the genesis of Călimani Mountains and the mysterious anthropomorphic rocks located on the 12 Apostles Geologic Reserve.


Adina Nicoleta Candrea is curently an associate professor at the Faculty of Economics Science and Business Administration, at the Transilvania University of Brasov. Her research interests are oriented towards: sustainable development, tourism marketing, cultural heritage interpretation, and destination management.

Florin Nechita is curently an associate professor at the Faculty of Sociology and Communication, at the Transilvania University of Brasov. His research interests are oriented towards: destination marketing and branding, cultural heritage, marketing communication for museums and sustainable brands.


Sandy Colvine (France) & Zsuzsa Tolnay (Hungary)

IE Certified Interpretive Writer (CIW): Getting to grips with meaning in written and spoken words

Workshop: 1h 25 min


Landscapes are historic environments, and such each forms a unique pattern of the natural and the man-made. As ‘learning landscapes’, they provide us with perspectives for our future but only if we are willing to see and reflect on them. Promoting sustainability, conscious growth and carbon neutral lifestyles is fine but lecturing people is never the best way to motivate and inspire outside the classroom. Using meaning may, however, provide a way to better access physical, intellectual and emotional components of our landscapes, and even push us to question attitudes and initiate the inevitable change that awaits us. This workshop will focus on ways to evoke meaning to trigger thoughts and reflection that zoom out from a site, object or person to wider social, environmental and economic concerns that directly and indirectly affect us all.


Sandy Colvine is a self-employed interpretive consultant with a background in rural development and tourism. He is a member of the IE Supervisory Committee and is an IE certified trainer. He lives in France but works throughout Europe and as a geographer particularly enjoys exploring the relationship between humans and their environment.

Zsuzsa Tolnay has been working with the nature-culture complex of World Heritage cultural landscapes. The challenges of how we grasp the sense of the place and create our own meanings of it have been inspiration to her in the pursuit of heritage interpretation activities for the past two decades.



Antonio Della Corte & Antonio Iaccarino (Italy)

The culture of care and the care of culture

Workshop: 1h 25 min


The story of a neighborhood on the ‘margins’ of the city of Naples that is reborn thanks to the idea of a priest and a group of boys who in 2006 started a bottom-up process: the reopening of the Catacombs of San Gaudioso and the dream of an economy based on tourism and legality. But it was the reopening of the Catacombs of San Gennaro in 2008 that triggered a real change that led to the reuse of historical places for cultural and social activities. Orchestras, theatres and educational centres were born in monumental complexes to support the children. The participation of

youth, the involvement of the community and the support of private institutions stimulated a social, cultural and economic growth by healing this suburb in the centre of Naples. The Rione Sanità, once avoided, has become a tangible example of how, through cooperation and active involvement, it is possible to recover people and communities by promoting innovative forms of social cohesion and territorial regeneration.


Antonio Della Corte studied Cultural Heritage Management. His papers are in: Catacombe di Napoli, spettacolo underground (Archeologia Viva, May-June 2018), Il Rione Sanità ancora da scoprire (Intra Moenia 2016), Catacombe di San Gennaro – guida storico artistica (Ed. San Gennaro 2019), Basilica di Santa Maria della Sanità e Catacombe di San Gaudioso – Guida storico artistica (Ed.San Gennaro 2019).



Antonio Iaccarino, along with Antonio Della Corte, is responsible for the formation and planning of the social cooperative la Paranza Onlus. The field of work includes the implementation of national and international projects and competitions and the training of new human resources.


Ioana Duica (Romania)

Crafting Heritage: Board games as an instrument for interpretation

Workshop: 55 min


The term heritage will be explored through the board game, one of the most friendly forms of learning, suitable for both children and adults. This tool is a way to get to know the components of natural heritage, their characteristics but also the threats we face when talking about heritage conservation. Adapted from Minecraft, a popular game among the youth, I have created Crafting Heritage, a board game that I ask you to come and test with me. The game is made of paper and wood and contains wooden cubes, pieces of cardboard, and game boards. All components are made from recyclable materials. The game can be played by 2-4 players and has three rounds. During the three rounds, each player has to create an area with a variety of ecosystems and populate it with plant and animal species. Participants have to collect as many points as possible, creating landscapes that include as many ecosystems as possible and solving the threats they face.



Ioana Duica is an educator and holds a Master’s in Applied Geobiology in the Conservation of Natural and Cultural Heritage from the University of Bucharest. During the last eight years, she has created educational programmes for children, such as interactive exhibitions and workshops, to promote cultural and natural heritage. She has been a member of Interpret Europe since 2021.



Barbara Gołębiowska (Poland)

Interpretation in the secret garden

Workshop: 1h 25 min


This workshop will invite participants to the secret garden surrounding the historic house of the Piłsudski family in Sulejówek near Warsaw (Poland). The house and the garden are the heart of the unique museum complex, consisting of two complementary parts: the multimedia permanent exhibition in the modern building and the ‘secret’ space of the old manor house and the garden, where the everyday life of Piłsudski family is portrayed. Thanks to the authentic context, guests can experience a multi-sensory immersion in history, travelling back in time in small groups led by a guide-interpreter. The first part of the workshop will present the interpretation idea of a secret garden, a learning landscape where you can take refuge but also be inspired to act. Dilemmas and problems related to space in the context of sustainability, participation and  public use will be discussed. In the second part, we will create our own secret gardens, using local natural resources.



Barbara Gołębiowska is an art historian, educator and a museum professional with 20 years of experience. She is Head of the Education Department at the Józef Piłsudski Museum in Sulejówek, Poland, and a member of the board of the Association of Museum Educators. She is a trainer of the Echocast, a practice-oriented training programme for customer service in heritage institutions. Barbara has been a member of IE since 2022, after attending Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) and Certified Interpretive Planner (CIP) courses.



Claudia Grünberg & Sebastian Zoepp (Germany)

Learning Landscape Lusatia: Potentials and challenges of a model project

Workshop: 1h 25 min


The region of Lusatia is rich in cultural and natural landscapes. Four have been designated by UNESCO: World Heritage Muskauer Park, Geopark Muskau Arch and the Biosphere Reserves Spreewald and Upper Lusatia Heath and Pond Landscape. These sites have now agreed to foster and realise the sites’ potential to support the sustainable transformation of the region and to use heritage interpretation as a tool. Standing at the beginning of making Lusatia a learning landscape and a role model for heritage interpretation applied at varied UNESCO-sites, we want to map the central benefits and challenges, share strategies and already achieved results, but also debate the challenges and questions: What values and meanings should the sites have in the transformation process? How to motivate local stakeholders for heritage interpretation? How to institutionalise responsibilities and who takes the lead? What actions and training must be implemented?


Claudia Grünberg holds a Master’s in World Heritage Studies and has eight years of experience in design and implementation of various education and interpretation projects at World Heritage Sites for a variety of stakeholders. She developed an interpretation strategy for UNESCO-designated sites in Lusatia outlining their potential for sustainable development in the transformation process.


Sebastian Zoepp started using heritage interpretation for designing and implementing guided tours in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Spreewald more than 20 years ago. As an IE certified interpretive trainer he is now passing on his practical experience to various target groups, such as park rangers and tour guides.



Ivana Jagić Boljat (Croatia)

Celebrating the difference with heritage interpretation

Workshop: 1h 25 min


In this fun and interactive workshop participants will explore the unique elements of heritage on the site to discover the unique perspectives among people. We will then offer ideas of celebrating the diversity and tolerance as enriching elements of our common future. This workshop is meant for interpretive guides and programme creators who search for inspiration in order to engage their participants in discovering their uniqueness, celebrating differences and bringing up important values shared among our society. Participants will need to have appropriate shoes, clothes and equipment for different weather conditions, as one part of the workshop will be outside.



Ivana Jagic Boljat lives and works in Croatia. She holds a Master’s degree in Tourism, and in Museology and Heritage Management. She is an IE certified interpretive trainer for guides and a certified interpretive writer. Ivana is the owner of Visitor Friendly, a small business for sustainable development and education. Within her previous employment at Muses Ltd, she gained a vast experience in the development of heritage interpretation projects for more than 20 municipalities, cities and protected nature areas, where she worked on interpretive planning of award winning interactive exhibitions, thematic trails, programmes and other interpretive strategies. She is the author of several scientific articles and manuals in the field of heritage interpretation. She is a member of the executive board of the Croatian Association for Heritage Interpretation and is also a tour guide for the city of Zagreb and Zagreb County.



Thorsten Ludwig (Germany), Michal Medek (Czech Republic) & Lucia Ursu (Romania)

Which interpretive strategies do learning landscapes need?

Workshop: 1h 25 min


In 2019, UNESCO defined value-based heritage interpretation as the core mandate for UNESCO designated sites. Stakeholders shall act as co-creators with themes encouraging individual interpretation and reflection on different perspectives. Complementing formal learning, sites shall help to turn regions into learning landscapes for sustainability. IE has aligned its training programme with this approach. So far, courses relate to programme/exhibit planning (Certified Interpretive Guide/ Certified Interpretive Writer courses) and to planning for specific sites (Certified Interpretive Planner course) – but connecting multiple sites under one interpretive strategy seems to require different formats. What knowledge and skills would employees need to act as interpretive agents? And would it make sense to develop a separate training event for this?

After a 25-minute introduction to value-based heritage interpretation and learning landscapes, we will deal with these questions in an open-ended workshop. Attendees interested only in the introduction may leave for parallel sessions afterwards.


Thorsten Ludwig holds an MSc in Interpretation. He studied archaeology and worked at a German national park until 1993, when he founded Bildungswerk interpretation. For 12 years, he was on the Board of the German Association for Natural and Environmental Education (ANU). He also chaired the Board of a foundation running a medieval castle for some years and was Director of Interpret Europe from 2015-2021.

Michal Medek has been pioneering the field of heritage interpretation in the Czech Republic for 15 years. He studied HI at UHI, UK, receiving PgCert apart from having MSc. in Geography, Biology and Geology (combined) and MA in Environmental Humanities. Michal works on various interpretation projects in his role as director of the Czech Institute for Heritage Interpretation and he also lectures in HI at Masaryk University, Brno. Michal is an IE certified interpretive trainer for guides, writers and planners.



Eliza Pătrașcu (Romania)

The collaborative art of weaving together heritage

Workshop: 1h 25 min


This workshop will combine a physical exploration of space through weaving, with a discussion about the ways in which site-specific art initiatives can help us better understand the potential of engaging with heritage buildings. At its core, weaving is a form of intergenerational, collective storytelling through yarn, that has a long tradition of being used by artists from marginalised groups as a way of re-appropriating space and revealing hidden or forgotten histories. While learning the basics of creative weaving, we shall talk about its place in the history of contemporary art, and how textile artists have used the concepts of heritage, space, and community in order to promote inclusivity. We shall also discuss the metaphorical and relational weaving together of public and personal narratives in order to bring a building back into the city’s social life, focusing on the Malmaison Studios initiative and how artists there work with the building’s deep history and trauma.



Eliza Pătrașcu is an artist with a background in visual anthropology. She graduated from Goldsmiths University and has since done extensive research on how textiles can be used to create inclusive spaces. She has spent three years working as an art facilitator with the CEN8 NGO and is currently doing PhD research on how artistic initiatives born in derelict buildings can help us understand the politics and plurality of emptiness.



Eva Sandberg & Per Sonnvik (Sweden)

Participatory planning processes for nature interpretation in protected areas

Workshop: 55 min

Welcome to a workshop on how to integrate participatory interpretive planning processes in protected area management. Examples from the Swedish Centre for Nature Interpretation (SCNI) and our experiences as facilitators. Exchange of experiences and ideas. 

The SCNI has been involved in several interpretive planning processes the last years. One described here: The process behind a heritage interpretation plan for the world heritage site High Coast / Kvarken Archipelago | Externwebben (slu.se)  We describe ongoing processes with the Swedish National Parks, how actors around the parks are involved and how quality is discussed and developed. The checklist for good interpretation in protected areas, education for actors who want to collaborate with the parks and participatory planning are covered.  Participants are invited to contribute to a discussion on how the power of stories and interpretation can bring diverse interests together in the planning of learning landscapes.


Eva Sandberg is Director of the Swedish Centre for Nature Interpretation. She is an IE certified interpretive guide and trainer and is a member of the Supervisory Committee.


Per Sonnvik is a project manager for the Swedish Centre for Nature Interpretation. He is an IE certified interpretive guide and trainer.



Valya Stergioti (Greece) and Angus Forbes (Germany)
IE Certified Interpretive Planner (CIP): Interpretive planning process in 16 questions
Workshop: 1h 25 min

Interpret Europe’s Certified Interpretive Planning (CIP) course was developed by IE members with a collective long experience in interpretive planning, as well as training. Though initially intended for planners and architects who wish to integrate value-based heritage interpretation in their work, the CIP course was also used as the basis for the WH-Interp course that IE implemented twice for UNESCO’s Regional Bureau for Science and Education, for people working at World Heritage Sites. 

In this workshop we will present a small taster of the updated CIP course. Participants will get the chance to familiarise themselves with IE’s framework for interpretive planning and experiment on how to use it at different heritage sites, in order to develop new learning landscapes. 


Valya Stergioti is a freelance interpretive trainer and planner, collaborating with a broad spectrum of European NGOs, public and private institutions. In 2012 she founded Alli Meria, to promote heritage interpretation in Greece and the Balkans. She has been Interpret Europe’s Training Coordinator since 2016.


Angus Forbes is from Scotland, UK, and has 25 years of experience as a landscape architect working in Berlin, Germany. He has been a member of Interpret Europe since 2017, is currently IE Subject Coordinator for Architecture and was author of the 2020 Interpret Europe publication ‘Heritage Interpretation for Architects and Landscape Architects’.



Vanessa Vaio  (Italy)

Interpreting the translation

Workshop: 1h 25 min


“It is the task of the translator to release in his own language that pure language that is under the spell of another, to liberate the language imprisoned in a work in his re-creation of that work” (Walter Benjamin). In many European countries, heritage interpretation is an emerging profession and there might be other interpreters out there that, while translating English resources, stumble upon the question of accuracy of translation. During the first IE Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) course in Italy (held in Italian language) it became clear that the initial translation no longer reflects changes in the recent development of terminology and interpretive theory, sparking an interesting discussion about the importance of the translation and the meaning of some key terms. Without any ambition to expand the debate with theories of translation, but interested in reaching a better understanding of the concepts, the team of professionals decided to meet again and work on an improved translation of the manual for interpretive guiding. With the indispensable help of experts at Interpret Europe, all key terms were reconsidered in order to make the translation as faithful as possible to the original vesion of the resource. The workshop will share the results of the process, findings about original meanings of key terms, doubts that emerged, and the working methodology in order to help and inpsire interpreters that pave the ground with the first translations in other languages. We will also call for experiences with translations from elsewhere.


Vanessa Vaio is a heritage interpretation consultant with over 28 years of experience and the owner of Studio PAN, an interpretive planning and consulting firm based in Como, Italy. She specialises in interpretation programmes, interpretive masterplanning, and designing and managing the production of interpretation panels and management plans for heritage sites. Vanessa has a multidisciplinary approach and works with a team of professionals to provide integrated solutions for all types of projects. She also provides training for personnel who implement interpretive activities. Vanessa is currently IE’s Country Coordinator Italy.



Mark Wallis (UK)

The new you: Some basics of costumed live interpretation

Workshop: 1h 25 min


Mark has been teaching heritage, museum and gallery staff the skills needed to adopt convincing historical personas for over forty years and he is a firm believer in this method of learning and teaching (if done responsibly). As well as at home in the UK, Mark has trained site staff in the USA, Canada, Australia, Hungary and Croatia (the latter with Valya Stergioti, IE’s Training Coordinator).


Mark Wallis is the founder of Past Pleasures and for 27 years held Europe’s largest daily contract for costumed live interpretation, with Historic Royal Palaces in the UK; until Covid struck. Mark has been recognised for his work in the field by the UK’s Association for Heritage Interpretation (AHI), which made him a Fellow. He continues to train site staff for various museums and heritage sites in the UK, USA, Hungary and Australia.




Samia Zitouni and Ivana Jagić Boljat (Croatia), Ondrej Vitek (Czech Republic)

IE Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG): A taste of interpretive guiding

Workshop: 1h 25 min




Welcome to Interpret Europe’s Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) Taster Workshop, where we invite you to discover the world of interpretive guiding! This interactive session is designed to provide you with a sneak peek into a certification programme that empowers guides and other professionals who present heritage with the interpretive skills and knowledge of creating meaningful connections with natural and cultural heritage. We are excited to share with you the fundamentals of interpretive guiding, including the examples of some practical activities and some theory behind, as well as the organisational aspects of the course.


Workshop leaders:


Samia Zitouni is an IE Certified Interpretive Guide and Trainer. She is also a passionate heritage interpreter and explorer from Zagreb, Croatia. Samia is IE’s Webinar Officer for our webinars IE Croatia, delivering webinars in Croatian language. She has worked in tourism for more than 20 years and enjoys building bridges between cultures. She is the creator of Best of Zagreb Walks and owner of a small company, Netragom obrt. She is passionate about exploring sustainable and more conscious travel experiences.  


Ondrej Vitek is a long-term member of Interpret Europe as well as the Czech Alliance for Local Heritage Interpretation. He has been an IE Certified Interpretive Guide since 2016 and a Certified Interpretive Trainer since 2018. Ondrej uses his interpretation skills not only in his visitor monitoring and management position in the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic, but also in his private activities focused on sustainable tourism.


Ivana Jagic Boljat lives and works in Croatia. She holds a Master’s degree in Tourism, and in Museology and Heritage Management. She is an IE Certified Interpretive Trainer for guides and a Certified Interpretive Writer. Ivana is the owner of Visitor Friendly, a small business for sustainable development and education. Within her previous employment at Muses Ltd, she gained a vast experience in the development of heritage interpretation projects for more than 20 municipalities, cities and protected nature areas, where she worked on interpretive planning of award winning interactive exhibitions, thematic trails, programmes and other interpretive strategies. 

Raluca Grama & Florentina Murea-Matache (Romania)

Interpretive plan as a key tool for EU-funded interventions


Workshop: 1h 25 min


The workshop, dedicated to the inclusion of the interpretive plan as a key tool for EU-funded interventions with potential impact upon cultural heritage will take the form of a lively discussion to underline how this tool could be applied in Romania. Based on a specific template proposed by the National Institute of Heritage, the debate will focus on the further development of this document and on the framework for its implementation in the new Regional Operational Programs (ROP).

The main aims of EU-funded interventions with impact upon cultural heritage are to improve the economic competitiveness and living conditions for local and regional communities in Romania. The practice has shown that the EU programmes funding guides could be improved in order to better correlate with the heritage conservation domain and the current issues found in this field, as immovable heritage can only be properly conserved when considered in relation to its context, which often includes natural, movable and immaterial heritage. As such, through its projects and initiatives, the National Institute of Heritage has proposed different actions in order to improve the framework for EU-funded heritage interventions (mainly the ROP), one of them being the elaboration and implementation of interpretive plans based on intrinsic values – tangible and intangible – of historic monuments.


Raluca Grama is an architect and the Head of the World Heritage Department within the National Institute of Heritage in Romania. With more than ten years’ experience in cultural heritage, in both governamental and non-governamental organisations, she is the alumni of Raymond Lemaire International Center for Conservation, K.U.Leuven, Belgium and ‘Ion Mincu’ University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest, Romania.


Florentina Murea-Matache is an architect and a specialist on built heritage of the Ministry of Culture from Romania. Since 2010, she has been involved in numerous research and heritage value recognition projects. In 2016, she started working at the National Institute of Heritage, the main public institution in Romania dealing with the research, documentation and protection of cultural heritage.


The National Institute of Heritage is the main central body, under the authority of the Ministry of Culture, responsible for implementing public policies in the field of cultural heritage in Romania. NIH is charged with activities of research, inventory, protection and enhancement of all categories of cultural heritage – immovable, movable, intangible and digital.