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MUSEUM International N°232
Museums and Cultural Policy

MUSE 232-Home big.gifTable of Contents


Chap 1: Museums in the public sphere

Chap 2: World changes and national challenges

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Museums: targets or instruments of cultural policies?, Patrick Boylan

Over the past half-century or more cultural policies have been developed and promoted by a wide range of public authorities and agencies, from the local town or community council, through regional, state and national governments, through to supranational (e.g. the Council of Europe) or even global (e.g. UNESCO) levels. The article offers an overview, mostly in Europe, of the changes in cultural policies over the last decade. TOP

National museum and Public discourse: the role of public policies in the cultural debate, Darryl McIntyre 

Museums around the world are re-thinking their role and purpose in society as they face the 21st century.  The traditional definition describes a permanent institution in the service of society which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits material evidence of people and their environment. However a more realistic question might be: why do we have a National Museum of Australia? TOP

From Ivory Towers to Museums Open to the Community: Changes and developments in France’s cultural policy, Françoise Benhamou & Nathalie Moureau

The text analyses the building fever which spurred in France since the 1980s. It has gone hand in hand with several other developments: adapting to the public demand which seeks educational and entertaining content, training, and also using museums as tools for local development. However, the human and financial resources made available to museums are not sufficient. The text studies how museums are obliged to establish priorities in this context of changes. TOP

The Interpretation of Cultural Policy, by and for Museums: a museum as an embodiment of cultural policies? , Jette Sandahl

The commitment to cultural policies as a path to cultural democracy and cultural participation is deep and long rooted in Sweden. The Museum of World Culture was conceived as an embodiment of such cultural policies.  The article retraces the conception of this new museum. TOP

Privatisation of Museums in the Netherlands: twelve years later, Steven Engelsman

Privatisation of national museums in the Netherlands has been very successful, and the process has served as a model for many others. This article outlines briefly why and how privatisation was done. With hindsight it identifies some of the factors crucial to its success. TOP

A Review of a Cultural Policy for Museums of the 21st Century in Argentina, Americo -Castilla

Providing a space for democratic construction is the challenge currently facing museums in Argentina. The author reviews the national cultural policies and sets out the concepts which may contribute to achieving it. TOP

The Role and Changing Face of Non-market Provision of Culture in the United States, Stefan Toepler

This article provides an overview and critical assessment of the main features of the American system of nonprofit or non-governmental institutions in hopes of contributing to the international dialogue over the semi-privatization of cultural institutions. TOP

Cultural Policies and Museum Development in Taiwan, Yui-tan Chang

Museum enterprises in Taiwan are reflections of cultural policies on various stages. The themes of museums over the last 100 years are, therefore, developed from “de-Japanizing,” “de-Chinanizing,” to “Taiwanizing culture,” and “consumer-oriented marketing thinking.”  The museological approaches are also developed from so called “expert museology”, focused mainly on preservation, to “popular museology”, focused highly on folklore. Taiwan’s museums have gone through an intrinsic change to gradually develop into localized, community-oriented, popularized museums. TOP

Developing a Policy on Cultural Heritage for Quebec, Roland Arpin & Yves Bergeron

In 1999, The following article is drawn from the report: Notre patrimoine, un présent du passée developed by the Groupe conseil sur la Politique du patrimoine culturel du Québec. It concentrates on those aspects of the development of the policy that may be applicable within a broader context.  TOP

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