Culture and cross-border cooperation

Rehabilitation, refunctionalization and revitalization of Mocioni Mansion in Foeni, Timiș County

Timiș County Council, in partnership with the Timișoara Intercultural Institute and NORTH Consulting ehf Iceland runs between 25.05.2021 – 30.04.2024 the project “Rehabilitation, refunctionalization and revitalization of Mocioni Mansion in Foeni, Timiș County”, co-financed by EEA Grants 2014 – 20 through the RO-CULTURA Program, the Timiș County budget, the IIT budget and the state budget.

The Mocioni mansion in Foeni was built in 1750 as the noble residence of the Mocioni family, well-known scholars, philosophers and politicians of Aromanian origin who militated and supported the rights, education and emancipation of Romanians in Transylvania during the Austro-Hungarian domination.

Currently in Timiș there is no historical monument to host artistic residencies or intercultural and heritage education activities. The mansion, located in a geographically marginalized and disadvantaged rural environment, will facilitate the annual realization of residents, contributing both to the enhancement of the monument and to the increase of the tourist attractiveness of the community. The created creations will enrich the community, they will transform it into a living museum, a community whose face will be changed by capitalizing on different ways of artistic expression. To achieve this impact, the Monument Recovery Plan has 3 interrelated directions of action: strengthening the capacity of the community, artistic activities and cultural education activities. The success of the Plan implies an active involvement of the partners as well as the engagement of the community throughout the whole process, so that the capitalization of the monument to contribute to the economic, cultural and social development of the community. We propose the introduction at community level of a new process for Romania – Participatory Governance for Cultural Heritage, a process that will allow both the involvement of community representatives and their co-responsibility on how to manage the restored and refurbished monument.

The general objective of the project is the economic, social and cultural development of Timiș County by highlighting the Mocioni Mansion in Foeni, a historical monument of national and universal value.

The specific objectives of the project are:

– increasing the tourist-cultural attractiveness of the area by rehabilitating and refurbishing the historical monument – Mocioni Mansion from Foeni commune, Timiș county, during 36 months;

– the development of an attractive and unique cultural offer in Timiș County by highlighting a historical monument located in a marginalized rural environment, during 36 months.

The Intercultural Institute Timisoara is responsible for the implementation of the Plan for the capitalization of the restored historical monument, which will be carried out for a period of 15 months, between December 2022 and April 2024.

The plan starts from the founding of a center for cultural, educational and artistic activities, which will highlight the talents, creativity and cultural heritage in the area of intervention, having an area of incidence that integrates the local, regional and international level as addressability.

To achieve impact, the Plan has 3 interrelated directions of action:

  • community capacity building;
  • performing artistic activities;
  • carrying out intercultural education activities and for cultural heritage.

Some of the project activities are dedicated to the community, for example:

1. Establishment of a consultation and support group Friends of the Mocioni mansion

2. An awareness campaign on cultural heritage and community development by capitalizing on local heritage

3. A pilot activity for capitalizing on the local tangible and intangible heritage – Banat brunch in Foeni

4. Study visits to Romania and Iceland for learning from examples of good practice.

In Timiș County there is no historical monument to house artist residences, for this reason the center will provide the necessary facilities for artistic expression and artistic productions especially for creative young people in Timiș County. National and international collaborations and co-productions will also be encouraged in order to increase the visibility of Romanian artists and art, as well as of Timiș County.

Activities for artists and the community:

5. Camp for the training of young artists and professionals active in culture and education

6. Interdisciplinary residency in street art and landscaping in the community

7. Visual arts residency and the mobility of Icelandic artists in Romania

8. Traveling exhibitions and the mobility of Romanian artists in Iceland.

The ethnic diversity in Foeni (Romanians 74.84%, Hungarians 13.87%, Serbs 5.87% and Roma 1.09%) determines the multiculturalism and multi-confessionality of the place, being in accordance with the major characteristics of the intervention area. In order to capitalize on these specific characteristics in educational activities, we want to support both teachers and students for the development of intercultural skills and awareness of their own values and attitudes regarding cultural diversity and cultural heritage.

Activities addressed to students from Timiș County:

9. Heritage education activities

10. Intercultural education activities and cultural diversity

11. Mocioni Mansion Days and the final conference of the project.

The project also includes activities for tourists:

– Pilot activity for capitalizing on the local tangible and intangible heritage – Banat brunch in Foeni

– Art exhibitions made after residencies

– Mocioni Mansion Days – Open Day, an event held annually.

The facilities offered by the center will include:

– visiting an interactive museum point dedicated to the Mocioni family and the history of Banat, with a classic exhibition but also with immersive technologies for virtual and augmented reality

– access to the information, documentation and reading center

– access to exhibition and performance spaces

– guided tour in the community and in the surrounding area, treasure hunting will benefit the 2 Natura 2000 reservations, Timiș meadow, integration in the Timiș Mansion Route initiated by APDT, junction through Foeni between the bike route on the Bega Canal and Timiș meadow.

The project activities will address the following target groups: 1) 150 members of the local community and students who will participate in the awareness campaign; 2) 1,000 students from the community and county aged 5-19 who will be involved in education activities; 3) 14 artists / creatives, of which 3 from Iceland, who will participate in 2 residencies 4) 10 artists / creatives and professionals from culture and education, of which 2 from Iceland, participants in the training camp, education activities and various other activities; 5) 8 community members involved in study visits; 6) 700 visitors interested in cultural, rural tourism, cycling tourism participating in the pilot offer, visits to the museum, exhibitions and other activities. 7) 120 other relevant categories of people from the region, the neighboring area of ​​Serbia, involved in other activities. The final beneficiaries, who will be able to visit the restored mansion in the coming years, will be able to exceed 700,000 people from the community, the neighboring communities from the micro-region, from Timișoara and Timiș County, from the country and from the Serbian border area.

Expected project results include:

  • A cultural and educational center
  • An active advisory group – Friends of the Mocioni mansion
  • 150 community members informed in 5 meetings
  • 3 traditional local products identified and promoted – Banat brunch in Foeni
  • Learning from examples of good practice – 2 study visits to Romania and Iceland
  • 10 young people (8 from Ro and 2 from Is), artists, professionals active in culture and education (museographers, teachers, curators, young artists active in NGOs, etc.) trained in cultural animation
  • Min. 4 works of street art and min. 4 landscaped green spaces
  • Min.10 paintings;
  • min. 20 framed artistic photographs;
  • 2 film presentation of the monument of 2min and 5min
  • A mobility program for 2 Icelandic artists in Timisoara
  • A traveling exhibition presented in Timisoara and Reykjavik with 500 pieces of bilingual Romanian / English catalogs;
  • A mobility program for 2 Romanian artists in Iceland
  • min. 500 students participating in 25 intercultural education sessions
  • min.350 students raising awareness about cultural diversity,
  • 500 pieces published in the Handbook of Intercultural Education
  • min. 500 students participating in 25 heritage education sessions
  • min.350 students awareness on cultural heritage
  • 500 pcs published from the Manual for education on cultural heritage
  • 2 historical presentations;
  • 4 artistic moments on the occasion of the Mocioni Mansion Days
  • A final conference.

The EEA grants represent the contribution of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein and the Kingdom of Norway to reducing economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area and to strengthening bilateral relations with the 15 beneficiary states in Eastern and Southern Europe and the Baltic States. These funding mechanisms are established on the basis of the Agreement on the European Economic Area, which brings together EU Member States and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as equal partners in the internal market. In total, the three states contributed € 3.3 billion between 1994 and 2014 and € 1.55 billion for the 2014-2021 funding period. More details are available at: www.eeagrants.org and www.eeagrants.ro .

The RO-CULTURE program is implemented by the Ministry of Culture through the Project Management Unit and has as general objective the consolidation of economic and social development through cultural cooperation, cultural entrepreneurship and cultural heritage management. The budget of the Program is approximately 34 million euros. More details are available on www.ro-cultura.ro.

Project financed by the EEA Grants 2014 – 2021 within the RO-CULTURE Program.

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