Monumenti Aperti – EXMA: from slaughterhouse to museum

The background of the pilot is Monumenti Aperti. Since 1997 the Imago Mundi Association, a small non-profit organisation, has coordinated Monumenti Aperti, an annual event which promotes inclusivity and the red iscovery of cultural heritage.

The event promotes smaller, lesser-known, heritage sites which may be in need of care, along with those larger, better known sites. Open Monuments likewise raises awareness of the value of heritage in the social and economic development of communities. The Association achieves this by including institutions, schools, associations and enterprises in their activities.

The initiative has had impressive results. While Open Monuments was initiated 23 years ago primarily in the city of Cagliari in Sardinia, 160 municipalities now take part in the project. The number of volunteers and sites collaborating with the Association is equally impressive – starting with 500 volunteers and 40 participating cultural sites, Open Monuments now counts on the support of 23,000 volunteers and more than 800 cultural sites which are opened to the public for free. 200 schools now officially participate in the event, ensuring the next generation of enthusiasts are involved in the appreciation of heritage.

The EXMA pilot project was created to test a new approach to the training of the guided tours of Monumenti Aperti.

We choose the Exma, the old slaughterhouse of Cagliari, because the monument has changed its function over time, thanks to an intervention of restoration and valorisation to convert it into a contemporary art museum.

Today the ancient slaughterhouse is an important cultural center for the city. No longer a place of death, but a place of life! It is also one of the most visited monuments of the Monumenti Aperti weekend, often interested by special projects, performances, concerts and workshops.

The Pilot Project was created to test a new approach of training the school volunteers for the guided tours of the old slaughter house of Cagliari.