Meet a Museum Blogger

Meet a Museum Blogger: Marina Lo Blundo

Marina Lo Blundo is an Italian archaeologist and blogger. Or is that an Italian blogger and archaeologist? When she isn’t studying for her PhD in Roman Archaeology she works as a Museum Attendant.

Marina Lo BlundoDo you work in a museum? If not, where do you work? Tell us about your job.

Yes, I work at the National Archaeological Museum of Florence, Italy. I’m a Museum Attendant, even though I’m an archaeologist and am now studying for my PhD in Roman Archaeology. In Italy it’s difficult for young archaeologists to have a job, so I think I’m lucky, because there are a lot of archaeologists that can’t find work. My job is to check the artwork in the museum’s halls; sometimes, on special occasions, I give guided tours for groups of visitors. My job profile includes supervision, communication and public reception. I work by night too, like Ben Stiller in Night at the Museum; actually in my museum there are a lot of mummies…

What’s your educational background?

I studied archaeology at the University of Genoa, Italy. I have a degree in Roman Archaeology, and now I’m studying for my PhD in Roman Archaeology at the University of Roma Tre, with a project about the Roman city of Sentinum, in Central Italy.

What was your “sticky” moment?

I remember my first visit at the National Archaeological Museum in Florence 10 years ago, when I was a student. During my visit, standing in front of the Arretian Chimera, I thought “I want to work here!” Some years later, my dream came true…

What is the name of your blog? How long have you been blogging?

I write on two museum blogs (and for my own archaeology blog, but this is another story…): the blog of National Archaeological Museum of Venice and the blog of ArcheoToscana; this last blog talks about all national archaeological museums and national archaeological sites of Tuscany (Italy). The blog about the Museum of Venice was born in August 2012, while the ArcheoToscana blog was born just three months ago!

What do you blog about? Why?

In the blog of Archaeological Museum of Venice I blog about the museum’s life: about any activities, exhibit, restoration of artworks, etc. and sometimes I describe Roman or Greek statues from the collection. I also write about museums and social media, because it’s a very interesting theme for me. Thanks to the Museum Director, Michela Sediari, who had the idea of the blog (in Italy, there are a very small number of museum blogs; blogs of archaeological museums are very few and there are only three national archaeological museum blogs in all of Italy), I have the possibility to choose the content and I have the complete administration of our twitter account: I choose the content, tweets, photos and links that we tweet and retweet…

In ArcheoToscana I’m responsible for a group of my colleagues, all bloggers like me: we write about every archaeological event curated by Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana, and about the national archaeological museums of Florence and Tuscany. We receive the press releases from the Soprintendenza Press Office, and we complete the text with supplementary archaeological information in order to give more information to the public.

I see that people are interested in archaeology on the web; I see that people appreciate museum blogs, museum fan pages on Facebook, or museums accounts on Twitter and on others social networks. I think that it’s important that museums open their doors to the web 2.0. This is my conviction and I’m working hard to realize it.

If you didn’t work in a museum what would you be doing?

At this moment I’m almost satisfied: I love to work in a museum even if I don’t love just being a museum attendant; but at the moment, with the ArcheoToscana blog and some collaboration with one or two archaeologists, I have the possibility to work as an archaeologist, and I’m glad. I’m interested in the online communication of archaeology, so maybe I would like to work for some project of archaeological communication. But in Italy there is not a work for it. Ah, obviously: I love digging on archaeological sites, and I miss it.

Anyway, if I didn’t work in a museum I would be always an archaeologist: this is my life, I can’t imagine any other.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I don’t know. I think in Florence, where I work now, maybe for the Press Office of the Soprintendenza; I want to continue my Research in archaeological communication: I think it’s the most important thing in Archaeology now.

Where do you see museums in 10 years?

I talk about archaeological museums in Italy, the situation that I know best. I hope Museums can find the way to open their spaces and their collections to the public. I talk about communication, about creating the conditions for a dialogue between museums and people. People think that museums are like temples, so they are afraid when they come in. But the museum is a live organism, which must talk to the public, and communicate with them. I hope Museums become,  in the coming years, lovely places for the people, places where people want to go. This is possible if Museum’s Directors will look out of the window of their museum and see what people want.

I hope too that in coming years archaeologists who work in Italian archaeological Museums in positions like attendants can be employed in a different way; not only for the surveillance – that is important, of course – but also for others museum activities: communication, study, archaeological research… we are ready to offer our expertise to give the public a better museum.

Thanks for participating in Meet a Museum Blogger, Marina!

In case you missed it, Marina blogs at National Archaeological Museum of Venice and ArcheoToscana.

Do you have additional questions for Marina regarding her profile above? Feel free to start a conversation in the comments below or reach out to her directly on Twitter at @maraina81Please use the #MuseumBlogger hashtag. TY!

Are you interested in being profiled or know someone who would be? Send an email to MuseumMinute@gmail.com.

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