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Museums across the West are in crisis. Beset by claims for repatriation, attacked as elitist and possibly racist institutions, and told to 'modernise' displays with all manner of digital technologies. This report is a call to arms for all those who believe there is something valuable in the traditional idea of the museum: a place for preserving the legacy of the past so it may be encountered anew.
Tracing the crisis back to a series of controversial ideas which became mainstream in museums activism in the 20th Century, Katalin Deme, a lecturer in Central European studies at Aarhus University, demonstrates how well-intentioned ideas surrounding 'relevance', 'participation', 'decolonisation' and 'digitisation' begun to subtly undermine the role of museums in society.
The report makes a lively, contemporary case for a museums' renaissance, one animated by the idea that the legacy of the past still might have something to teach us today.