Residents and visitors of Lesvos will have the opportunity to view an exhibition of cartoons and follow an open discussion about the world of museums. In particular, on Friday March 1st, at 6.00 p.m., the exhibition “The World of Museums: A Humorous Look!”, showcasing cartoons of Geir Helgen, will be inaugurated in the Museum of Industrial Olive Oil Production of the Piraues Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP), in Agia Paraskevi on the island of Lesvos.

Geir Helgen has studied linguistics, history and archaeology. He had a long career in museums in Norway. He is also an excellent amateur cartoonist. His cartoons reflect and comment on how visitors and people working in them feel about museums.

The exhibition, which was initially organized in Italy, in 2009, by the International Committee for Regional Museums (ICR), the International Council of Museums (ICOM), has already travelled to several European countries since then (Croatia 2010, Slovenia 2010, Austria 2011, Finland 2012). In Greece, it has been organized by an initiative of Yannis Markakis, member of the administrative council of ICR, director of the Museumof Folk Life Crete “Lychnostatis”, and with the collaboration of ICR, PIOP and the Department of Cultural Technology and Communication of the University of the Aegean. The exhibition is curated by a group of students of the Department of Cultural Technology and Communication, University of the Aegean with the guidance of their lecturer Maria Economou (Assoc. Professor of Museology).

During the exhibition, on March 2, 2013 at 11:00 to 13:00, the event “Open Discussion for Museums” will be held at the University of the Aegean Hill Auditorium Geography. The panel of speakers will engage members of the ICR, museum professionals from around the world and Greek colleagues from museums of the island and the rest of Greece, who will speak about their experiences in different types of museums and cultural organizations and the main issues they face in their work. In the event students of the Department of Cultural Technology and Communication, University of the Aegean, will also participate. The discussion is open to the public.

The event aims to open a dialogue about the role of museums today, the way the museums of different countries face major issues of function, such as communication with visitors, the interpretation of exhibits, management, staffing and funding their storage and security of collections, etc.