The USI UNESCO Chair is happy to collaborate at the MARKS Interreg project, which aims at increasing the attractiveness of the cross-border area between Lake Como and Lake Lugano  in the Intelvi Valley. It is a collaboration between the Italian region Lombardy and the Swiss canton Ticino. In the spirit of Interreg projects, the two regions overcome national boundaries and work together to requalify a cross-border territory.

To do so the project wants to combine concepts such as art, beauty, nature, landscape, culture and history by creating two types of arboreta and a museum dedicated to the unknown Swiss and Jewish artist Karl Schmid. A monumental arboretum will be built around the museum, while a diffused arboretum will be created out of already existing monumental trees in the region, which will be connected through newly created paths. Both arboreta will act as so-called Gardens of the Righteous, in which trees and plants are dedicated to people who in history have saved lives, fought for human rights and committed themselves to the protection of the environment.

The project, belongs to the second axis of Interreg projects, which aims at valorizing natural and cultural heritage, through initiatives that foster knowledge sharing, conservation, management and sustainable exploitation of such tangible and intangible heritage.

Partners involved in the project are:

  • Lead partners:
    • Comunità montana Lario Intelvese for Italy
    • Fondazione Karl Schmid for Switzerland
  • Municipalities:
    • Argegno (I), Schignano (I), Claino con Osteno (I) and Arogno (CH)
  • Italian Cultural and Agriculture/Forestry related associations / institutions:
    • Lanzo d’Intelvi 1868 s.r.l.
    • ERSAF, Ente Regionale per i Servizi all’Agricoltura e alle Foreste
    • Consorzio Forestale Lario Intelvese
    • Ente Villa Carlotta
    • APPACUVI, Associazione per la Protezione del Patrimonio Artistico e Culturale della Valle Intelvi
  • Higher Education Institutions:
    • SUPSI, Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana
    • USI, Università della Svizzera Italiana
  • Public Transport Companies:
    • Società navigazione del lago di Lugano

USI’s role in the project is to develop an online communication strategy together with a detailed communication plan for social media. As part of this, USI created Karl Schmid’s Wikipedia page.  Since not much is known and available online about the artist, the project members interviewed Karl Schmid’s daughter Eva to learn more about him and his life.

They also went to Zürich to explore the archive of the Züricher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK), where Karl Schmid was a professor for several years.  They did this to find evidence of his activities, life and artistic patrimony.

Furthermore, Giulio Del Giudice, USI UNESCO Chair intern and graduating student from IULM University, is  writing his master thesis about the project. The thesis is titled “Territorial tourism promotion through interregional projects: exploring the communication strategies of MARKS case” and includes a benchmarking analysis of online communication strategies of parks, gardens, Interreg projects and a proposal for a social media communication plan for MARKS.

Picture on the left, Dr. Anna Picco-Schwendener, Giulio del Giudice and Oliver Ike (project manager of MARKS) visiting the Rämibühl Cantonal School with murales by Karl Schmid in the canteen.

Picture on the right, taken during the interview by Dr. Anna Picco-Schwendener (USI) with Eva Schmid, daughter of Karl Schmid and owner of most artistic works created by her father.

Interview with Eva Schmid (German transcriot, PDF).