November 25, 2020, by Liz Goodwin
University’s prestigious partnership with the City of Sparta
The University of Nottingham’s Centre for Spartan & Peloponnesian Studies (CSPS) and the Municipality of Sparti in Greece has signed an agreement to strengthen research links and to promote the cultural heritage, history and archaeology of Sparta.
This is the first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed between a foreign University and a Greek municipality with regards to cooperation in promoting local history, archaeology and cultural heritage at both a local and global level.
This prestigious agreement celebrates a 15-year relationship between CSPS and Sparti with co-operation between the two dating back to 2006 when the Centre’s official Greek inauguration took place in Sparti with sponsorship from municipality funds.
CSPS has an international reputation as the world’s only research centre focused on the study of Sparta and the Peloponnese, Greece. It was founded by Emeritus Professor William Cavanagh (Archaeology) and Professor Stephen Hodkinson (Classics) in 2005 and both founders have been granted the esteemed title of Honorary Citizens of Sparti.
“We are honoured to continue working closely with the City of Sparti to promote Sparta’s history and culture and its reception in modern political and intellectual thought, at both a local and global level. This MoU helps ensure that research at the University of Nottingham makes a profound positive impact on the local community’s understanding of its history and on the city’s heritage management policies.”
The MoU will enable the University to expand its activity in the city and region of Sparti and will provide the first step in embedding its research expertise into a History and Archaeology Community Centre to foster global interest in ancient Sparta and its legacy. The planned Community Centre, which will be a joint effort between the University and the City of Sparti, will enable the Centre’s scholars to pursue further research, engage with local, national Greek and international audiences, as well as extending plans regarding forthcoming research projects around digitising ancient Spartan artefacts which are currently scattered in museums worldwide, and to repatriate them into a digital format.
Dr Petros Doukas, Mayor of the City of Sparti has also been actively involved in running Sparta Live! which has been a flagship Humanities Covid-19 online engagement activity with 16 lectures to date and international audiences tuning in every week.
Along with the development and management of engagement projects like these, it is hoped that the recently signed MoU will continue to see closer and enriched academic collaboration and further cultural outreach, engagement and working with young people.