chapter  1
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Introduction

Locating heritage and dialogue in digital culture
WithAreti Galani, Gabi Arrigoni, Rhiannon Mason, Bethany Rex

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In 2010, Intercult founder Chris Torch, reflecting on the position and role of European museums in a globalised world, and specifically in relation to digital technologies and platforms, made the following points:

The raw material of mutual understanding is accessible in ways never before imagined. But this capacity for increased distribution is not enough to generate true intercultural dialogue. It is the cross-fertilisation between virtual access and face to face encounter which makes museums relevant and useful.

(Torch, 2010) Since then, significant developments have taken place on the technological, cultural and political front, and a number of European policies and initiatives have focused on the role of intercultural dialogue in Europe (Council of Europe, 2008; European Commission, 2018). Despite the institutional recognition of the role of culture and heritage as tools for dialogue between nations (Anderson, O’Dowd and Wilson, 2003; Innocenti, 2016) and the significant investment in the digitisation of European cultural resources (European Commission, 2012; Valtysson, 2012), work that examines how the areas of European heritage, dialogue and digital culture intersect remains less common.