More than 300 Timisoara residents and not only relived the atmosphere of the old Elisabetin district, online, at the Virtual Opening: Heritage in the Spotlight. Elisabetin and Netti Dr. Diel - a world in a box.
The event took place on Zoom, Facebook and YouTube platforms and included live broadcasts from over five locations in the Elisabetin district, as well as from the Maria Theresia Bastion. Speakers included representatives of local authorities, Timisoara City Hall and Timis County Council, as well as the management of the Polytechnic University of Timisoara, the National Museum of Banat Timisoara and the Timisoara European Capital of Culture Association.
The host of the event was Dr Diana Andone, Director of the e-Learning Centre - Polytechnic University of Timisoara, who marked the opening of the virtual opening together with Ruben Lațcău - the representative of Dominic FritzMayor of Timisoara, Viorel Coifan, the President's advisor Alin Nica, President of Timis County Council, Conf. dr. eng. Florin Dragan, Rector of the Polytechnic University of Timisoara, Prof. dr. eng. Radu Vasiu, President of the UPT Senate and Director of the Multimedia Centre, Claudiu Ilaș, Director of the National Museum of Banat Timisoara, Dr. Simona Neumann, Director of the Timisoara European Capital of Culture Association, Marius Cornea - project coordinator at the National Museum of Banat Timisoara and Prof.dr.arh. Ioan Andreescu, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, UPT.
With the theme of touch, 2020 brought the stories and atmosphere of the Elisabetin district under the spotlight, as told from the perspective of Netti Dr. Diel, whose memories excerpts from fragments of the manuscript "Family Diary" of Prof. Pia Brînzeu have helped to illustrate the atmosphere of everyday life in the neighbourhood of yesteryear.
The exhibition "“Spotlight Heritage. Elisabetin neighbourhood and Netti Dr. Diel - A world in a chest ""open at the Maria Theresia Bastion during the period , November 13, 2020 – January 31, 2021, street exhibitions with information panels in the 16 emblematic locations of the Iosefin district, as well as online, mobile and augmented reality applications through which the public can find the old and new stories of Timișoara online and can even "travel" in the old Elisabetin district with the help of virtual reality.
Festive, vintage dinner - live and virtual tour of the exhibition
The host of the Maria Theresia Bastion was Marius Cornea - The National Museum of Banat, which, through a series of live interventions offered participants a virtual tour of the exhibition, illustrating the atmosphere of the Elisabetin district of the 19th century - both from the public sphere, through a festive dinner at "Netti Dr. Diel's table" - having as guests characters who left their mark on Timișoara during the "Belle Époque" period, but also from the private sphere, within the "Netti Dr. Diel's Buduoar" and the collection of period textiles on display at the museum. Also during the interventions at the Theresia Bastion, participants could watch and listen live to a radio play - a dramatization of fragments from the manuscript "Family Diary" by Prof. Pia Brânzeu. Timisoara residents can still visit the exhibition at Bastion Maria Theresia, 4 Martin Luther Street, which is open to the public until 31 January 2021.
Historical moments played by live experts from the street exhibition
The street exhibitions in the 16 stations of the Elisabetin district were launched with a series of live interventions by experts from the National Museum of Banat and the Faculty of Architecture of UPT, in front of the emblematic points of the Elisabetin district. Zoran Markov - The National Museum of Banat Timisoara revealed a number of details of the history of the Monument of St. Mary and the Reformed Church - live, in St. Mary's Square. Ciprian Glăvan - National Museum of Banat Timisoara together with Conf. dr. arh. Cristian Blidariu, pro-dean of the Faculty of Architecture, UPT told the audience about the history and architecture of the Roman Catholic Church in Balcescu Square, live, right in front of the building, then returned with a series of live interventions in front of the Polytechnic Canteen and the first buildings of the Polytechnic University of Timisoara, from where they told the session about the student revolt of 1956, but also about the architecture of the buildings of Timisoara's heritage.
Prof. Dr. Pia Brânzeu - granddaughter of Netti Dr. Diel
The world of Netii Dr. Diel and, implicitly, the illustrated details of the old Elisabetin district could not have come to life in the Spotlight Heritage Timisoara project without the collaboration and openness offered by Prof. Pia Brânzeu - Netti's niece Dr. Diel and the manuscript "Family Diary", signed by him. During the event, she delivered a message to the audience (narrated by Alexandra Marian, National Museum of Banat) and - having become a grandmother in her turn - read out the letter to her granddaughter, Marissa, at the opening, in the hope that she would take up the family diary tradition in the future.
Web page with past and present online stories displayed on an interactive table
Timisoara's online stories - old and new - together with the 16 emblematic points of the Elisabetin district (Sequences) and excerpts from Netti Dr. Diel's memories (Landmarks) associated with each station are available online, on the page www.spotlight-timisoara.eu. It was presented to the public on a state-of-the-art device - the interactive table on display at the Theresia Bastion - by S.l. dr. eng. Silviu Vert - e-Learning Centre and Multimedia Centre - UPT, which gave participants a tour of the website and sections dedicated to the Elisabetin neighbourhood.
The Elisabetin neighbourhood of now and then, relived through techno-enhanced experiences
Because the experiences proposed by the Heritage in the Spotlight project are intended to be complex and enhanced by state-of-the-art technologies, Dr Diana Andone also launched the Spotlight Heritage Timisoara mobile and augmented reality apps at the opening, giving a live demonstration to the audience of the multiple functionalities of the apps that identify the 16 locations in the Elisabetin district, presented in several ways: text with information about the location and Netti Diel's memories of each iconic landmark, written in text and narrated in an audio clip by prof. Dr. Pia Brânzeu, a gallery of images - both current and old images, video clips and 360-degree images of each location, so that anyone can create the feeling of being inside the building or in front of the building. Plus, once you're around the Elisabetin district and in front of a building, the augmented reality (AR) function recognises the building and will give you information about it. By pointing your phone's camera at the building, you'll be able to see the building's old façade superimposed over the current one.
Dr. Smaranda Vultur gave a speech at the end of the event, talking about the importance of oral history in the community and final word belonged to the host - Dr Diana Andone, which encouraged participants, Timisoara residents and beyond, to participate with their own experiences of Timisoara's history and to share their memories and personal stories of the Elisabetin neighbourhood through online, mobile and augmented reality applications.
Watch the video of the Virtual Opening: