On September 27-28, 2018, Open University of Cyprus (OUC) presented the BYZART project at the Researchers’ Night in Cyprus. Researchers’ Night is a Europe-wide public event promoting science through fun learning. This annual celebration of science, research and innovation took place this year at Lanitis Carob Mill Complex in Limassol. It was organized by the Research Promotion Foundation (RPF), the main research funding agency in Cyprus and was funded by the European Commission under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (grant agreement 818355). The year’s theme was dedicated to cultural heritage, thus making the BYZART project an ideal fit for the occasion.
At Researchers’ Night, the OUC-led activity raised awareness for the BYZART action within the Europeana Core Platform among the general public and the scientific community active in Cyprus. Visitors had the opportunity to explore the possibilities offered by the Europeana digital library and upload digital photos of byzantine artworks from Cyprus on the BYZART platform, in real time. For the purposes of this activity, the method was adjusted to suit people of different ages and educational levels. The activity was in essence an interactive game that enhance one’s understanding of what stories an image can hold.
In the event, BYZART engaged several stakeholders and in particular young people who visited with their school, family and friends. It showcased the positive role of digital art history and archaeology on daily life by making it easier for everyone to use cultural heritage content, whether for learning, for work or just for fun. Furthermore, it disseminated the project’s aims and achievements to the research community and attracted to BYZART new content providers from Cypriot museums and institutes.
Dr. Maria Paschali, Research Fellow, created the educational and communication material (including game design, exhibition poster, social networking) and delivered the outreach activity. She developed the task as a BYZART member of the research team, coordinated by Associate Professor George Deligiannakis, faculty member of OUC’s programme “Studies in Hellenic Culture”. For the implementation of this task, precious technical assistance was offered by Assistant Professor Andreas Giannakoulopoulos, Laboratory Director at the Department of Audio and Visual Arts at Ionian University (IU – AVARTS).
All in all, Researchers’ Night provided a wonderful occasion to introduce the ambitious BYZART project with a multiplying effect among the public of Cyprus.