How a heritage social platform could highlight a Christmas Thematic Park?

PLUGGY was presented to the several trainees from Greece, Spain, Italy and Bulgaria who participated to the 4-day educational workshop of the project Den-CuPID (Digital Educational Network for Cultural Projects Implementation and Direction) that took place in the city of Trikala, Greece between 4 and 7 December 2017 in the Research Center- Tsitsanis Museum.

DEN-CuPID is a Strategic Partnership between SMEs, academic institutions and Local Authorities associations and aims to promote and disseminate good practices on the successful cultural and touristic management, to seek sustainable business plans for the development of tourism, the promotion of local products and the use of historical monuments.

The workshop was organized by the Developmental Company of the Municipality of Trikala, E-trikala S.A, who is also the coordinator of the project. The main objectives of this workshop, entitled “Creating a Successful Theme Park: The Mill of Elves Christmas Park”, was to present and analyze the Christmas Thematic Park of the Mill of Elves in Trikala, Greece as well as the reasons that lead to its commercial success the last years and the added value and financial benefit that this success had in terms of touristic growth and attraction.

PLUGGY’s innovative social platform, curatorial tool and pluggable apps were brought up through a themed presentation dedicated to how a cultural heritage social platform could highlight and preserve the heritage of the Mill of Elves, the most successful Christmas event in Greece that hides a great history behind. The Mill of Elves is a heritage asset, a remnant of the industrial era of Greece and a special part of the city of Trikala’s identity. Built in 1884, the Mill of Elves, also known as Matsopoulos Mill, was reportedly the first roller mill of Greece and the largest of the Balkan region. It constitutes a historical industrial monument and a cultural focus point for its visitors as it also accommodates a valuable museum, an industrial equipment that is perfectly preserved and the living representation of the early 20th century’s process of handling grain.

Thus, the Mill of Elves as a cultural site is also a highly emotional place, as for a century and more, it was a living organisation, formed by diverse and different communities, people who have a great story to tell about it.  The Mill of Elves can provide the opportunity for all these communities to care for something fragile together and hence promote a sense of responsibility, persistence and respect for the knowledge and values of fellow residents and citizens.

In PLUGGY, we do believe in communities and their power to transmit knowledge through their narrations and experiences. PLUGGY is a tool that could strongly support the protection and enhancement of this industrial heritage asset and could help us see history through the eyes of common people and their living experiences.