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World’s first virtual museum of Roma people in Catalonia opens

The website is part of an integral plan agreed on between the Roma community’s representatives and the Catalan Government. The museum opens in a moment of debate in France about the Roma people’s integration, which has been brought to Catalonia by the Catalan branch of the Conservative People’s Party (PPC)

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30 September 2010 11:26 PM

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ACN

Cornellà de Llobregat (ACN).- Many words that are commonly used in the Catalan language come from the Romani language spoken by the Roma people. Famous characters such as Eric Cantona and Charles Chaplin have Roma origins. The Nazi horror hit the Roma people hardly, exterminating and torturing many. The Holocaust is known between Roma people as \u201CPorajmos\u201D. All these facts are included in the website of the Kataluniaqo romano museò, or the Museum of the Roma People in Catalonia. The website was created by the Catalan Government as part of an integral plan agreed on by Catalan executives and representatives of the Roma community


The inauguration of this virtual Museum comes some days after the Catalan branch of the Conservative People\u2019s Party (PPC) visited a neighbourhood in Badalona, North of Barcelona. The PPC leader in Catalonia linked crime with immigration and pointed to the Muslim community and the Roma people, especially those coming from Romania. This is the Catalan reflex of the debate pushed by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy as an attempt to gather populist votes in times of economic crisis in neighbourhoods with difficult social problems. The PPC later denied their comments made in Badalona. The rest of the Catalan political parties reacted against this populist and xenophobic speech.

The idea for the museum started in 2008. Many actors collaborated to make it a reality, such as the Catalan Government, various Roma associations, anthropologists, social-science experts and the online Catalan University (UOC). There is also an idea to create a cultural foundation focused on the Roma community, but it is still not clear how it would work.

Roser Carmona, spokesperson of the Roma community, has said that \u201Cit is very important that the Catalan Government pushed for this initiative to break the stereotypes that the Roma people have experienced for such a long time\u201D.

The museum is divided into 8 sections, which illustrate the current situation of the Roma people, their history, traditions and language. It also portrays the Roma people in Art History and presents several famous people with Roma origins. It has a space for virtual exhibitions, such as the inaugural exhibition on the La Mina neighbourhood. The website is oliba.uoc.edu/gitanos.

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  • A caption of the website of the Museum of the Roma People in Catalonia

  • A caption of the website of the Museum of the Roma People in Catalonia