What a difference….

This week we visited Heraklion Archaeology Museum.

The girls had such an amazing experience when we visited the Acropolis Museum in Athens that we felt buoyed to attempt another cultural outing.

The first Sunday of every month the municipal museums are free to enter. So, with packed lunch in tow we set off for the hour long drive to Crete’s largest city, Heraklion.

The two excursions couldn’t have been more different.

On arrival at the Acropolis Museum (AM) we were found in the very long line and were ushered to the front of the queue because we had children with us.

At the Herakleion Archaeology Museum (HAM) we were grunted at and pointe din the right direction .

At AM we were welcomed by security guards with smiles a were escorted to a separate ticket counter with no line so we could pay quickly and get the kids in and learning, they even bypassed the metal detector.

At HAM we were collared, told to scan ever item, including the children’s toys on entry and told we couldn’t take the bags inside.

Once in AM the children were engaged with by every guard we met, greeted with smiles, encouraged to linger and ask questions and generally made to feel special.

At HAM Felicity was ‘ssssshhhhhh’d’ for squealing with delight when she saw the twinkling lights on the Christmas tree at the entrance. I was told to ‘keep her quiet’ as ‘this is a museum’

Within seconds Flossy has been told not to touch the glass and I had been asked not to photograph an exhibit that Freya was interested in (my mistake, there was a sign for that item, but everything else was ok to photograph as we had checked).

We were all made to feel so uncomfortable we decided to withdraw and have a coffee and a achat so we could reset our expectations before exploring further. We had beeen inside for just 20 minutes. We found the cafe, it was closed, and we were not allowed to eat our own food inside.

So, after just thirty minutes we withdrew outside to eat a picnic with the smokers and reflected on these things….

  • If we don’t engage children with the past, how can we excite them about the future
  • Who will carry on our legacy if not the next generation
  • Why let children into museums if you want them to behave like adults
  • Why so joy, laughter and questioning a bad thing
  • Who employs these people and what are the criteria for success

I’m sure other people had better experiences. We were just so disappointed having had such a great previous visit to a far ‘grander’ museum!

Maybe someone read this and reflect?

Let’s bring history to life for young people, not make it something that should be co templates in silence!

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