The interest that ancient theatres often raise among the public, has been a key factor for their survival. However, this interest, represented by current uses of theatres, creates a continuous impact on these structures originally designed for needs very different from contemporary ones. Moreover, the lack of awareness among the local population can sometimes play a role in aggravating the situation, whereby little or no cultural value is attached to the asset itself.
Ancient theatres can play a crucial role in the Mediterranean culture and cultural heritage. The enhancement and improvement of sites would in fact determine an increase of their relevance as tourist spots, while the proper management of these sites would help in minimizing negative impacts.
The main objective of the” Athena” project is minimizing the progressive decay of ancient theatres in terms of physical, cultural and socio-economic aspects by endorsing proper management plans. Additionally, the aim is also to support the revival of theatres as a part of a wider archaeological site or urban context, and to establish an overall strategy for dealing with tangible and intangible heritage aspects. Capacity building activities will also be designed in order to maximize the project's impact.
The project, whose aim is to increase general knowledge and awareness of theatre' s cultural value as material and immaterial heritage, gathers four partners from universities of both North and South Mediterranean countries and targets different stakeholder groups, notably youth.