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Authors: De Lucia, M.* 
Ottaiano, M.* 
Limoncelli, B.* 
Parlato, L.* 
Scala, O.* 
Title: The Museum of Vesuvius Observatory and its audience. Years 2005 - 2009
Issue Date: 1-Jun-2010
Keywords: museum
Subject Classification05. General::05.03. Educational, History of Science, Public Issues::05.03.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: The museum of Vesuvius Observatory was created through the enlargement and updating of a permanent exhibition, set up in 2000 with the aim of make citizens aware of volcanic phenomena, volcanic hazard and surveillance of active volcanoes in high risk areas, such as Naples and surroundings. The museum is located into the historical building of the Vesuvius Observatory, the first volcanological observatory in the world, currently part of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). In the museum the dominant theme is Vesuvius: scientific issues are strictly interlaced with historical, archaeological and literary topics. The exhibition path goes from the presentation of volcanic hazard to volcanological methodologies used to define the eruptive history of a volcano. It traces the eruptive history of Somma-Vesuvius pointing out the most famous eruptions of 79 AD and 1944. Volcanic products are also displayed. The path is enriched by the exhibition of historical documents as the geological map of Somma–Vesuvius by Johnston-Lavis and copies of Ercolano and Pompeii casts. Also historical scientific instruments are shown, including the first electromagnetic Palmieri seismograph. The tour ends with a practical experience of simulation of an earthquake. Since the year 2000 checking of visiting public was carried out. This work presents statistics related to the public of the museum in the years 2005 - 2009. The monthly occurrence of visitors, visitors origin, category of visitors (distinguishing among schools, universities, groups and others) percentage, amount of visitors during weekdays and holidays are presented. Statistics put in evidence that the audience is mostly made up of school groups, coming from the Campania region preferentially in the months of April and May. The accurate identification of the public allows the museum staff to arrange a tour tailored for different types of visitors, enhancing the quality of the communication.
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