The Museos Vivos-Living Museums network held on February 16 in the town of Medina de Pomar, Burgos, an important informative conference to which all the local action groups of Castilla y León (44) were summoned and in which the magnificent results obtained in the first phase of implementation of this museum project were presented.

The conference in Medina de Pomar was the official presentation in Castilla y León of both the results obtained so far by the project and the objectives of the new phase that starts from now on. For this reason, it was also attended by the Director General of Industry and the Agri-Food Chain of the Junta de Castilla y León, María José González Garrachón.

Living Museums -Living Museums is a cooperation project 80% subsidized by the FEADER, European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development of the European Union, (known as Leader funds). The Junta de Castilla y León participates with 14% and the Ministry of Agriculture with the remaining 6%.

In its first phase, 15 local action groups from the provinces of Burgos, León, Palencia, Segovia, Soria and Valladolid participated in the Castilla y León region, although the project also has a national and international character, with the inclusion in 2021 and 2022 of five museums in Galicia and one in the Czech Republic .

Since 2018 when the first phase began, 77 museum spaces have been incorporated into the network, with more intense growth being experienced in the last two years (2021 and 2022).

The main objective of this project was to provide the rural environment with the possibility of opening museums and interpretation centers located in small municipalities, or any other element of their cultural heritage, to tourism at a low cost, facilitating access to potential visitors.

Precisely the number of visits has been one of the most resounding results of this project, accumulating in 2022 more than 41,000 people who have accessed these "living museums" located in rural areas.

The key to this expansion and interest has been the intelligent opening system of the museums, which allows them to be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A "Smart" system that has allowed them to be finalists in the European Rural Inspiration (RIA) Awards 2022, in the Digital Futures category.

Museos Vivos + kicks off 

The Museos Vivos + project will start in May 2023 in Castilla y León with the new budgets and Leader grants that will allow continuity for two years and consolidate the network.

As previously announced, the main objectives of Museos Vivos + will be:

  • Incorporation of new local action groups (there are already three applications in Castilla y León).
  • Integration of new elements of cultural heritage: churches, hermitages, castles...
  • Consolidating cooperation in Castilla y León
  • Collaboration to work with other LAGs in Spain and the EU.

Another novelty is the proposed creation of the Living Museums Association to consolidate the continuity of the actions and try to raise more funds for promotion; local action or rural development groups participating in this cooperation project and museum owners (city councils) can be integrated as active partners and companies related to the project as collaborating partners.

As explained by José Andrés García Moro, president of GAL ADRI Valladolid Norte, coordinator of the Living Museums project, the idea is to continue in this new framework of Leader 2023-2025 funds so that it can be extended to new territories in Castilla y León and even at the national level.

"It is a project that has filled our territory with a constellation of attractions, which are our museums. Museums that were gathering dust. As the director general said at INTUR, there was a suitcase and wheels have been put on it," García Moro pointed out.