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Telefónica joins forces with the Museo del Prado as Benefactor Sponsor of its Visitor Services programme Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Telefónica joins forces with the Museo del Prado as Benefactor Sponsor of its Visitor Services programme.

Telefónica joins forces with the Museo del Prado as Benefactor Sponsor of its Visitor Services programme

El ministro de Cultura, César Antonio Molina, el presidente del Real Patronato del Museo, Plácido Arango, y el Presidente de Telefónica, César Alierta, se estrechan las manos tras la firma del acuerdo.

The Minister of Culture, César Antonio Molina, the President of the Royal Board of Trustees of the Museo del Prado, Plácido Arango, the President of Telefónica, César Alierta, the Director of the Museum, Miguel Zugaza, and the Director General of Telefónica’s Corporate Communications, Luis Abril, today formalised the collaborative agreement through which Telefónica becomes Benefactor Sponsor of the Museum’s Visitor Services programme. The status of Benefactor Sponsor involves the highest level of commitment to the Museum’s priority projects. With a contribution of 2.5 million Euros spread over the next 4 years, this agreement will allow the Museum to embark on a programme to improve and expand its visitor services.

The Visitor Services programme will consist of:

- Improvements in technology available to the public with an increase in the number of works included in the general audioguides, the creation of audioguides specially aimed at children and the setting up of a permanent ticket reservation system for the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.

- Improvements in general visitor services such as the programme of visits aimed at families, the creation of specialised information points and the publication of maps-guides translated into further languages (at the present time the Museum has maps in Spanish, Basque, Catalan, French and English).

- Improvements in the access areas and exhibition areas including the removal of architectural barriers, the creation of meeting-points and rest areas, the renewal of the room labels in order to improve their design with regard to clarity and typography, and the increase in the amount of seating in the galleries, among other initiatives.

- Improvements in the Museum’s analysis of the visiting public through surveys, follow-up, actions, systematic analysis of complaints, and the introduction of questionnaires asking visitors’ opinions.

- Improvements in the image and training of the Museum’s staff who are in contact with the public, including the re-design of their uniform and the implementation of ongoing training and re-training regarding visitor psychology, empathy, languages, conflict resolution, etc.
The Museum from its “window”: www.museodelprado.es

As the starting point for this new phase of development and improvement of the public’s relationship with the Museum and coinciding with its physical expansion, the Prado has decided to begin this process with the launch of a new web which opens a universal and free “window” onto its history, collections and activities. Tourists, students, art lovers, experts, young people and children can now make use of a fundamental tool for a better knowledge of the Museum. The new platform has the name www.museodelprado.es (formerly www.museoprado.es).

The Prado’s new website has significant innovations. All the practical information is offered in 12 languages with the option of making searches in the more than 2,000 entries from the Museum’s Encyclopaedia, published last year by the Fundación de los Amigos del Prado who have generously made it available for on-line consultation. Visitors can also consult more than 1,000 on-line entries on works in the Permanent Collection with their corresponding images in high resolution. In addition, the website now includes a section of game for young users (PradoPlay) and a search channel which offers access to the catalogue of the Museum’s Library and complete consultation of all the scholarly Bulletins published to date. This section includes a forum for scholars to express their opinions on the articles published.

The new website is structured over three levels of content and navigation, as follows:

- All practical information for planning a visit is in English, French, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic, as well as all the various official Spanish languages. This information is reached from the first level of navigation set out as a Welcome page to the website.

- Accessing the principal home-page, from which the page can be consulted in Spanish or English, the new website offers 6 sections (Collection, Exhibitions, Activities, Education, Research and Encyclopaedia of the Museum) which bring together a large volume of information on the collections, history and activities of the Museum. Also reached from the home-page is a Newsletter and the PradoPlay zone.

- In line with the idea that the new website should function as another way of accessing the Museum in its entirety, the page presents a second home (More Prado) which offers information on issues related to its institutional activities. This area houses the press room, which is also a new feature, and is aimed at professional journalists, allowing them to download images and press documents once they have registered.

With regard to the more specific requirements of the virtual community, usability (ease of navigation) and accessibility (ease of access) have been two basic criteria in the design of museodelprado.es. The new website has been designed bearing in mind those with special needs. The aim has been to comply with all the guidelines corresponding to level AA in those parts of the website whose configuration makes this possible. These guidelines, which will be borne in mind for future projects and the improvement of existing ones, have been established by the WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) of the W3C, a body that aims to regulate website accessibility guidelines.

In addition, the design of the website is one of its most distinctive features. Both the presentation of the initial Welcome page and the layout of the home-page and subsequent pages have been designed with a restrained use of graphics that conforms to the Museum’s new corporate image.

The Minister of Culture, César Antonio Molina, the President of the Royal Board of Trustees of the Museo del Prado, Plácido Arango, and the President of Telefónica, César Alierta, shake hands over the signing of the agreement.

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