This EuNaMus report studies how nations develop policy in order to deploy national museums in the redefinition of the national vision. Considering museums as utopian institutions, it focusses on the negotiations between politicians and museum professionals in Europe from 1990-2010. In-depth case studies are presented from France, Norway, Estonia, Hungary and Greece, in order to examine the broad range of change occurring throughout Europe. The report also examines the EU as a new actor in these museum negotiations. The findings indicate that museums have responded to differing circumstances using five broad policy making techniques to engage in national redefinition: re-formulation, re-narration, re-mediation, re-organisation and re-professionalization. The report suggests that national and transnational narratives coexist uneasily in national museums due in large part to three competing utopian visions articulated by Europe’s various policymakers: EUtopia, Multicultural Utopia, and National Historical Utopia. How museums can balance these visions is a key issue for these institutions in the years to come.
The report is produced within the three-year research programme, EuNaMus – European National Museums: Identity Politics, the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen, coordinated at Tema Q at Linköping University (www.eunamus.eu). EuNaMus explores the creation and power of the heritage created and presented at European national museums to the world, Europe and its states, as an unsurpassable institution in contemporary society. National museums are defined and explored as processes of institutionalized negotiations where material collections and displays make claims and are recognized as articulating and representing national values and realities. Questions asked in the project are why, by whom, when, with what material, with what result and future possibilities are these museums shaped.
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2012. , 192 p.