The Riace Bronzes, the Bonapartes and the Bethroted. Something’s Happening on Twitter!

Schermata 12-2456646 alle 12.19.55

Over the past week, my Twitter morning check has become much more entertaining and eventful.

It all started last Monday morning when I – happily – discovered  that the “Che tempo che fa”  Sunday episode live tweeting had been carried on by the Riace bronzes. Wow – worth checking it out! And this is how I met Bronze A and Bronze B – muscular, witty, and such smooth-talkers. Bronze A is a young workout fanatic, hairstyle always impeccable and a tendency to flirt with every female archaeologist crossing his path; Bronze B is steadier, more mature, though sometimes a little too narrow-minded – especially when the subject of ménages à trois is brought up…  They certainly have the nerves, these two,or, as we Italians would phrase it, they really are two “bronze faces”.

Schermata 12-2456646 alle 12.37.07

[Bronze A: The youngest and tallest (205 cm) of the Riace bronzes. I go by the name of Tydeus or Polynices. I’m a bit excitable but energetic. Interests #bodybuilding #hairstyle / Bronze B: Hello, I’m the oldest of the Riace Bronze. My name is either Anfiarao or Eteocles. I used to wear an helmet, which is why my head is weird. I’m calm and laidback.]

What is really significant here, though, is that we are facing two official institutional accounts, created to help relaunch the newly-restored bronzes  and the (just as newly-restored) building that will host them (opening next Saturday,  December 21st, 2013). What matters is that the transfer of the Bronzes has been documented live on Twitter by the Italian Minister of Culture, Massimo Bray. And, finally, what makes the difference is that the two accounts are tweeting in total freedom, of content and style – something very unusual in the scenario of cultural communication. They talk nonsense and are very silly, but they are also funny, ironic and unaffected. They manage hashtags effectively, they retweet and they never miss a chance to interact. In short, they are a 100% successful experiment: it only took them a few days to reach 500 followers each.

And in case you were wondering if they have experienced any claustrophobia while in the crates, you can read their words here.

Besides, the bronzes are not alone: again by initiative of the Ministry of Culture, Ciro‘s account has also been created – this is a 110 million years old dinosaur, and the voice of the Italian Paleontological Society. A quick check on Twitter, and I made my acquaintance with Paolina B B, Napoleone and Azzecca Garbugli  (a character in Alessandro Manzoni’s historical novel, the Bethroted).

These accounts follow the same strategy adopted for the bronzes: a fresh, lively communication, with more hashtags than big words. Maybe this is one of the potential ways to wake the world of culture and that of Italian museums up?

These might only be experiments, but they are a welcome first step: #svegliamuseo, then! Let’s keep waking up!

Schermata 12-2456646 alle 12.21.14

[Paolina B B: Off to the hairstylist. That dumm Bronze A hasn’t blocked his credit card yet, haha! #goshiambeautiful / Bronze A: Just learned a life lesson from Paolina B B: a Venus personification pulls more than an oxen quadriga [N/A: Italian saying]. But beware of the mad cow.]

Translation by @RoryInLA