28 September 2011

Rapid Wien soon to open museum

The Austrian club Rapid Wien (that's Vienna to you English lot) is the next football museum to open, by my calculations.
I got in touch with Thorsten Leitgeb, project leader of the Rapid Museum to see how things are getting along.

When are you to open the museum?

The Rapid Wien Museum is growing and we would like to open it in mid november/the beginning of december.

Q: How is the museum set?

It will be a very small, interactive museum with only 100 squaremeters and that's our tough challlenge: to put 112 years of history into a very small room. As you can imagine we can only feature our club history's special highlights.

Are any particular episodes from the club's history of special interest?

That would be Rapid Wien's german league title from 1941 which was won under sensitive circumstances, while Austria was part of Hitler's Großdeutschem Reich. We want to tell this tale as part of Austrians history as victims as well as perpetrators and opportunists of the Nazi-Regime and, of course, in the context of Rapid Wien's destiny.

Many club museums in Germany address the period of the Nazi regime. I understand the mechanisms behind it, that it stirs up stories that need to be told. Do you think that this is something isolated to the football sector or do you find it common in German and Austrian society as well? Is it something you must go through before moving on, on other historical matters?

The period of the Nazi regime still is and must be an issue in the Austrian society. Plenty is refurbished, some is not, but hopefully will soon be. When it comes to football Rapid Wien is the 1st club in Austria who did an academic research to investigate it's own role in these difficult circumstances: http://www.skrapid.at/9610+M5c5a1f4ff58.html
This research will be the basis for the execution in our museum. And yes, me and my colleague Domenico Jacono definitley think that this must be cleared before you can present your club's history to an (international) audience. Especially when you have been successfull in the years 1938-45, as we were.

Are there any certain Rapid players that will be honoured or highlighted in the museum?

Yes, we will feature 6 Rapid players that will get a special treatment in our museum. Two of them I will reveal:
- Josef "Pepi" Uridil (nickname: The Tank) who was in the 1920s the first football popstar in continental europe, starting in a film and having for example a beer named after him. There even was a popular song written about him ("Heute spielt der Uridil" i.e. "Today plays Uridil").
- Ernst Happel (nickname: Aschyl) and also called Wödmasta - that means world champion, even though he was when teammanager only second with the Netherlands in the World Cup 1978. Also European Cup Winner with Feyenoord Rotterdam in 1970 and with Hamburger SV in 1983.

Balls & Boots wish Thorsten and his colleagues the best of luck and hope for an opening on schedule.

25 September 2011

More museums added (September 2011)

Lately there has been a few additions to the overall list of football museums that I provide. Some have been found when searching the web and others are the results of tips that I've recieved. They are both existing museums and planned museums:

Added existing museums:
The BSC Young Boys Museum, in Bern, Switzerland
The Athletic Bilbao Museum, in Bilbao, Spain
The Spanish National Museum, in Madrid, Spain
The Benfica Museum, in Lisbon, Portugal

Added planned museums:
The Olympique Marseille Museum, in France (2014)
The Rapid Wien Museum, in Austria (2011)
The Tottenham Hotspur Museum, in London, England (2012-2013?)
The Aberdeen FC Museum, in Scotland

As for the Marseille Museum, it was previously thought to be an existing museum but this turned out to be false. It is now a trophy room and plans its museum opening in 2014 for their new stadium.
The Tottenham Museum is also to open with their new stadium and I doubt that this construction will be finished for the London Olympics in 2012.
Following some delays the Rapid Wien Museum is to open late this year. More about the Rapid Wien is to come later this week.

20 September 2011

New Dissertation: Le football exposé, Les musées de clubs

Mr David-Sean Thomas of the Ecole du Louvre has recently finished his dissertation entitled: “Le football exposé, Les musées de clubs” (Football exposed, club museums)
Balls & Boots has received this fresh dissertation and with understanding about 10% of it all (it’s in French, and outside my linguistic domain) it looks really interesting.

This is what the author himself has to say about his work:
"Concerning my recently written dissertation, my first objective was to understand how football is displayed in museums in general. It quickly appeared that the most relevant structures to be analysed were football club museums.
My problematic is: is there a museographic identity for club museums?
To answer that question I posed mixed theoretical researches and a field analysis in six places : Liverpool FC, Manchester United, Arsenal FC, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Atletico de Madrid. In fact there are no real club museums in France.
The results showed that the same kind of objects and general dialogue are shown in these structures. Trophies, shirts, the importance of success, a nostalgic vision of the past are omnipresent. Some problems are the noticeable like the lack of quality of the conservation, of the scientific approach of the collections or of the pedagogical actions offered.
I really enjoyed this analysis and I am now waiting for the mark given for this work."

Balls & Boots wish Mr Thomas the best and keep fingers crossed for a good mark.

About the author:
David-Sean Thomas, (b. 1986) is a resident of Paris and started his studies in the university of Paul Valery, Montpellier where he earned his Information and communication degree. He then moved to Paris to study history of art in the Ecole du Louvre, located under the famous museum. Finally, he gained a masters degree in museology in that same university, writing two dissertations : the first was about Nicolas Poussin's paintings in the Louvre museum, the second about football in european museums. At the same time, he worked in the National Museum of Sport.

19 September 2011

The Shamrock Rovers Heritage Trust

Since 2008 the Heritage Trust of Dublin club Shamrock Rovers has been active. They do not keep a club museum but truly operates in the same manners as other historical societies of football clubs that actually do keep museums.
The aims of the Shamrock Rovers Historical Trust are:

1) To collect, preserve and display club memorabilia in a museum-type setting.

2) To honour past greats who played for the Hoops and also those who stood on the terraces to support their heroes.

3) To organise and run the annual Player of the Year awards night.

The display of club memorabilia in a museum-type setting, judging from the photo differs little from established museum's minor object-based exhibitions.
If you have any Shamrock Rovers items you now know where to turn.

14 September 2011

Exhibition: History of Swansea City FC

You still have a chance to visit the Swansea Museum and their exhibition about the history of their local team Swansea City FC called "Proud to be a Swan".

"In this football focused exhibition Swansea Museum commemorates the highs and lows of Swansea City AFC, from the earliest days of the club to present day success.
Fans Memorabilia supports and illustrates the story that deals with players, the ground and the history of the "Swans", including surprising aspects of the life of this great football club."

Roger Gale, exhibitions and events officer at Swansea Museum, said to the BBC:
"What the Swans have achieved in a short space of time is truly magnificent and this is an opportunity for people to celebrate the club and their wonderful heritage."

Exhibition is open until 30 september.
More images from the BBC here

13 September 2011

Museo del Calcio: Video Interview

This is an interview with Dr Fino Fini, the director of the Italian Football Museum, Il Museo del Calcio, made by Toscana WebTV. It was produced in october 2009. All in Italian. Enjoy!

9 September 2011

Pride of the English National Football Museum

The National Football Museum of England has launched a new website for the countdown of the opening in early 2012. It is a visually appealing site that wants user participation.
Follow the progress on their news blog.
One of the entries includes an interesting museological statement:

"We're proud that, as museum of the national game, we can reach people who wouldn't normally give museums a chance."

This sets the National Football Museum in a wider museological and strategical context which to my knowledge was also a cornerstone when the museum was housed in Preston.
Now, can this be true that football museum visitors differs from visitors of other museums? And is this probability higher in the United Kingdom than in other countries?
Will visits to football museums generate demographically diverse visits to other museums?
And do museum lovers attend football games?

Sadly, with the new museum website there is a lot of interesting information missing online about the museum collections for instance. We wish a speedy return.

5 September 2011

Bedtime reading: Fussball und Museum

Most of the book "Die lokal-globale Fussballkultur" (The local-global Football culture) is available online. It was published in 2004 and includes (most of) Martin Wörner's text "Fussball und Museum" which is both a background to the subject and a plead for a German Football Museum (which is now underway).
A good read and a sound way to practise your German skills.

Follow this link to read (p.237-248)