Epson's projectors play a vital role in this new Italian museum


Bringing the past to life in an original, interactive and educational way; this was the goal of the Fondazione Bergamo nella Storia when setting up the "Museo Storico dell’Età Veneta – Il Cinquecento Interattivo" (The Historical Museum of the Venetian Age – An Interactive Journey into the Sixteenth Century) in the evocative surroundings of the Palazzo Suardi.

And, as the curator, Claudio Visentin, explains, there are almost no actual relics in the museum: "The key feature is the presence of large screens and the possibility for spectators to interact with the environment which surrounds them. This transforms the learning process from a passive to an active experience."

Museo Storico dell’Età Veneta – Il Cinquecento Interattivo

Trail-blazing in terms of both production and objectives, the exhibition spaces offer visitors the chance not only to learn something about the history of Bergamo, but also to have fun.

"It is a starting point for discovering the city," states Alessandro Bettonagli, the designer of the museum. "We have left the sixteenth-century relics where they were, in the city itself, while giving our visitors the chance to go on a personal journey of discovery into the past."

The museum has a range of installations, including one in the "Sala degli Stampatori" (Printers' Room), where visitors move a small cube to start the process of making up a document – the aim is for them to reproduce the actions of printers at the time.

As well as being one of the first museums in Italy to use a QR code, the museum in the former Palazzo del Podestà is characterised by the presence of no fewer than 22 Epson projectors, 118 network connections, 13 graphic workstations, used for managing the various installations, and eight technical control panels for managing the systems.

A future-oriented choice

"The choice of Epson video projectors was based on three fundamental criteria," explains Massimo Basile, the museum's Information System and Technology Manager. "Firstly the constructive relationship we have with the supplier: we got together to obtain the best match for the location, taking into account various factors, such as light and refraction, for example. Then we paid particular attention to the weight of the projectors. Since we were unable to hang anything from the walls, we had to create a self-supporting structure, so weight was a vital factor."

However, perhaps the most important reason for the foundation choosing Epson was their after-sales service: "Buying the products is one thing, but maintaining them a few years after purchase is quite another. I mean the cost of the lamps or maintaining the filters, for example. We wanted to handle many things 'in house' in order to remain independent."

Epson and culture, a winning formula

In a setting as complex as an old, historical building, Epson projectors really stand out through their versatility. A particularly important aspect was how easy it was to hide them: indeed, although they play a fundamental role in every room, the projectors are "invisible". The projections are managed by means of interactive systems produced with software specially developed for this project by the N!03 studio, while room three features video mapping created on-site with After Effect.

In terms of managing the projectors, each Epson product has been integrated into the LAN network of the exhibition space. This has enabled, in addition to traditional on/off remote control, advanced monitoring of the installations, with an automatic messaging and analysis system that sends daily reports on the status of each individual projector (times of use, operating temperature, lamps etc.). Everything is designed to be accessed remotely from the museum's headquarters and the designer's. This all represents greater efficiency and savings of both time and money.

"We are delighted with this cooperation," states Carla Conca, projector business manager at Epson Italy, "which once again demonstrates how our technologies are particularly suitable for the world of culture: our products can breathe life into highly emotional and dramatic installations for shows and exhibitions and inside major museum complexes."