Innovative Approaches for Narrating Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage: the AthenaPlus Creative Tools


  • Sam Habibi Minelli
  • Maria Teresa Natale
  • Barbara Dierickx
  • Marc Aguilar Santiago


intangible cultural heritage, digital/virtual exhibition, tools, Europeana, user experience, UNESCO, AthenaPlus, CityQuest, MOVIO, evaluation, training, virtual living lab


This paper illustrates the innovative approaches proposed by the AthenaPlus project in valorising digital cultural heritage through a set of creative open source tools. In particular, we will describe CityQuest (dedicated to the discovery of cultural heritage) and MOVIO (enabling the creation of cultural narrations). Both address cultural institutions, educators, and tourism organisations who want to create digital exhibitions, thematic paths, and tourist routes, valorising both tangible and intangible heritage preserved in GLAMs (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) and on the territory. The article describes the current state of development of the tools, summarizing their features and illustrating some case studies carried out by the project partners in the first phase of the project after being trained on how to best take advantage of them. Moreover, the workflow for monitoring the progress and results of the pilots is described, illustrating the methodology carried out in the virtual living labs set up for the project.

Author Biographies

Sam Habibi Minelli

Sam Habibi Minelli graduated in Electronic Engineering at the University of Padua (Italy). He has been a project engineer and research project manager since more than 15 years. His expertise includes implementation, fundraising and exploitation, corporate partner engagement, internationalization and business intelligence, management of financial audits, and technical monitoring of projects. He has managed ICT research projects for technological innovation projects in the visual and multimedia and multilingual content retrieval domains as well as in cultural heritage domain. He contributed to the activities for the definition of image standards (JPEG2000) and metadata (IPTC). He is a business and marketing teacher at the most important Italian financial magazine Il Sole 24 ORE, where he teaches business innovation, marketing and business modelling and project management to master courses of professional customers. In 2013 he joined GruppoMeta, where he manages European funded projects.

Maria Teresa Natale

Maria Teresa Natale is a consultant who has been working since 1985 in services for cultural institutions. From 2002 to 2008 she participated in the national and European activities of the three MINERVA projects, where she was content manager of the relevant website and responsible for the project Museo & Web, born in the framework of MINERVA. She cooperated with the MEDCULT project funded by UNESCO, and coordinated the "Digital Heritage" work package of STACHEM. She was technical coordinator of the ATHENA project and was involved in EuropeanaPhotography, Partage Plus, Europeana Collections 1914-1918, Linked Heritage, DC-NET, and INDICATE. She took part in the Europeana Working Group on users. Currently she is technical coordinator of AthenaPlus.


Barbara Dierickx

Barbara Dierickx holds a master's degree in Cultural and Communication Sciences. She is actively involved in the project PACKED vzw on the Flemish and the European level. As a centre of expertise in digital heritage supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Flemish Community, PACKED vzw plays a central role in Flanders and Brussels in centring the development of expertise in digitisation, digital archiving and access, and in spreading the acquired expertise. It aims to improve and safeguard the quality and efficiency of actions with regard to digitisation, digital archiving, access to and re-use of digital material within the broader field of cultural heritage. See for more information.


Marc Aguilar Santiago

Marc Aguilar studied Modern History in the universities of Barcelona and Amsterdam, and holds a MSc in Sociology Research from the former university. He has solid skills in social research methods, both qualitative and quantitative. His professional and research interests include social entrepreneurship and innovation, qualitative market research, digital ethnography, user experience research, and futures studies. Between 2011 and 2013 he held an ICT internship position at the University of Barcelona, and in 2012-2013 he was involved in several local innovation projects where he carried out qualitative research. In his current position at i2CAT, he is responsible for the living lab methodological approach. In this role, Marc's tasks involve planning, executing, and analysing several kinds of user involvement actions in service and product co-creation, leading workshops and giving presentations at consortium meetings, and writing research deliverables and reports.





How to Cite

Minelli, S. H., Natale, M. T., Dierickx, B., & Aguilar Santiago, M. (2015). Innovative Approaches for Narrating Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage: the AthenaPlus Creative Tools. Uncommon Culture, 6(11), 20–36. Retrieved from