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ASTRA Museum is the largest ethnographic open air museum in Romania and one of the largest in Europe, dealing mainly with pre-industrial rural communities, researching and showcasing traditional rural communities from the entire country. All together it exhibits more than 400 old buildings representative for traditional Romanian civilization and for ethnic minorities (houses, barns, entire homesteads, churches, mills, fulling-mills, saw-mills and other pre-industrial rural buildings) on more than 100 ha at the outskirts of Sibiu, the former European Cultural Capital in 2007. ASTRA Museum’s mission is to invest in programs meant to enhance the cultural life of its community and to encourage people to include tradition as an active part of their daily life.
Awarded the Luigi Micheletti Award for innovative museums earlier this year in Ljubljana, ASTRA Museumis appreciated as, the judges put it, “for being deeply involved in connection to different ethnic minorities and their stories and puts a great deal of effort into supplementing this with all kinds of festivities, plays and demonstrations.The Open Heritage project is an excellent example of how important collaboration between cultural institutions from different countries can be for the development of all the partners and the world of museums as such. ASTRA is an innovative, creative open-air museum, organizing its huge, rich collection in a way that highlights present-day issues such as migration, sustainability and biodiversity.”
A 3 Michelin star museum, ASTRA Museum retains its attractiveness from “transcending the exclusive promotion of the traditional in the past, being erected as a true cultural instigator by its location at the confluence of old and new, traditional and modern, national and global. ASTRA Museum is living proof that investments in museums, when accompanied by professionalism, produce effects not only locally or regionally, but even internationally.”