Monday, February 11, 2013

Fighting the evil with a new mind


Illicit traffic of heritage objects is the  consequence of complex problems. It is due to the colonial conquest as well as the later wars, plunder and looting. The chaos and poverty wherever they happen immediately cause the heavy losses of cultural substance. The crime chain usually starts  with the deprived and poor and ends with big and rich be them dealers or, in some cases, museums. The problem is that occupations concerned with heritage  failed in performing their task in a prevention and in coordinated action.

Some budgetary redistribution of financial means that would imperceptibly diminuate military expense, would be a solution to the problem as most of the plunderers and traders could be either encouraged to earn on legal excavations or would be prevented from performing their crime. Further investment would provide documentation and safe storage as well as training for the professionals.

Besides plain return (dubious hope for the important expatriated cultural heritage) there are possibilities of loans, exchanges and cooperation. Since museums without objects are possible and do exist, some solutions could make up for the massive losses for cultures of origin. Their specific right makes the use of secondary material (copies, facsimiles, replicas, models or media presentations) more of a solution for them than for the others. If done creatively and backed with international cooperation those creative solutions could turn some of the problem into advantage. Many museums nowadays do not exist merely to present their collection. Based upon scientific expertise, they thrive on communication, explaining the concepts and values important for the life of the given community.

Acknowledging the problem, the article is an effort to offer a combined wisdom of a professional and the lay person, a sort of practical view of on a problem of restitution of cultural objects to the country of origin with some suggestions for solutions. Otherwise, the matter seemingly grows more complex the more it is discussed by curators, academics, lawyers and politicians.

Key words:

looting of cultural heritage, illicit traffic, illegal excavations, redistribution of resources, professionalism, museums  without objects, repatriation, common sense, expertise, fascination, ICT, Internet, new mind

1. The specific source of the problem: culture is not a priority choice

I am sure, the experts on looting of cultural heritage, illicit traffic and the deficit of honesty in returning to the rightful owners (what has been unlawfully estranged from them) - will describe this problem better then a theoretician on heritage. So, my intention is only to contribute some simple thoughts on the sources of the problem and possible solutions to it.

My heart is with tombarolli , if I have to choose between them and the rich art dealers in Geneva or New York. Besides, most of them would be perfectly happy with a daylight job for the same wage if the state decided to make culture its priority. Now, culture is expensive and we cannot afford it, - I hear some say. But, is it not just a question of policy or the  quality of the societal project? If there would be a decision of buying one Mirage or Phantom fighter plane less a year, per country in question, there would be enough money to turn all the secret excavations into legal ones . These planes that are discarded into junk after a few hundred of  hours of usless flying cost between 25 and 70 million  Euros and the Stealth bomber may reach 3.1 billion dollars , while a Trident submarine costs only 1.4 billion. In brief, we are forced to solve problems that stem from the lack of logic in priorities. I believe, no millitary eagle would even notice this skratch at the millitary budget nor it would result in the loss of their power. Of course, this is naive. But so is love. So is honesty, and so is culture itself... Is the simplicity of it a problem? Alas, in terms of immediate profit, wars stay more lucrative than culture and prove so convenient for unrestrained plunder of any property, the cultural included, - so beneficial for the art market. 

2. The task for a mega profession

The problem of illegal excavation, plunder and illicit trade is deeply social and will be getting worse. All problems are manipulated into solutions that serve best the particular interests of the rich. The de-ideologized world offers no support for the rightful claims so that fragmented society can only produce harmless corrective or counter-active actions, allowed and tolerated to provide the illusion of democracy.

If the country X is drowning in poverty, the exports of illegally excavated archaeological sites or looted museums will bring rocketing profits for the well perfumed and respected gentlemen who will be growingly different from the stinking poor devils digging in the darkness and risking their lives for the few dollars it brings. If the country falls victim of warfare, that is even better opportunity for smashing profits. The equation  more-despair means-more-evil, - is the mathematics of hell. In 1993 the illicit trade was worth 39,3 billion dollars and in 2003 it was already 60 billion; the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, to mention only the big scenes, were only the good news for the art market.

The solution is simple like some Greek allegory: a goddess of Expertise standing on a pedestal of common sense. In brief, the entire domain of heritage, be it museums, archives, hybrid heritage institutions, and galleries has to be professionalized in such a depth and extent that they finally represent a power in the society. We still do not have an organized profession but disorganized number of occupations without unifying philosophy and coordinated methods. The mega profession of heritage care and communication will come into being and will be able to generate a heritage movement, like the one that was in the seventies crated for the values of environment and now represents the only chance of our survival.

So the real solution, besides diminuating despair that comes through poverty and wars,  - is: education of professionals dealing with heritage, more money for documentation, more money for excavations, and media campaign denouncing the protagonists of the shameful plunder. By preventing big museums to take part as promising buyers, a considerable demotivation of trade would take place. Only a profession united and composed of otherwise scattered occupations would be capable of dealing with the problem: both in negotiations among institutions as well as in prevention of the problem. A real profession will be able to create all form of cultural or heritage action in order to raise the awareness and make political and public space for the professional solutions. One could sincerely doubt that certain big returns of cultural property to the countries of origin would meet the necessary public support.

3. The reverse effectiveness of law

We have law and order that are partly effective with the desperate plunderers but hardly ever touch the big figures of the trade. The latter are, well, the crème of the occidental societies. They are simply rich and famous, socially and often culturally, the elite of their respective countries. One day, many of them will also become big donors, bequsting their collections to the society, figuring as philanthropists and persons of respect: to honour these qualities and provide place for their collection, tax payers will pay for the expensive buildings named in their eternal memory. Christie's and Sotheby's will continue frowning at us when we bother them with ethics: do we want to harm an important branch of country's business? They are just doing "their job". The last time merchants were opposed in a society on the ground of ethical implications of their trade, was in the middle ages, when they were not given the status of an estate. Times changed and merchants now make much of the occidental economy. So, it is the public tacit consent and the lack of evidence that makes us all the accomplices of their sad and harmful affair. The law reaches the protagonists only occasionally and recuperates what has been stolen only sporadically. The figures of losses remain frightening: less than a half of 14 000 objects looted from the Baghdad museum have been found. Apulian heritage is, some experts claim, 95 % excavated  by pillagers who looted about 130 000 thombs.

4. The paradox of expenses

The naive expectation of spending a fighter plane or two a year to cure this growing illness will surely fail. But, If we calculate the time and money we spend on tracking the illicit trade, on protecting the sites, on international investigations, on search and control, on cultural diplomacy trying to rectify the injustice, on conferences and gatherings, - we will arrive at very substantial sums. But, say, we decide to invest much of this expenditure in advance to discourage the plunder and illicit traffic by financing excavations, by offering professional education, by improving documenting, launching media campaigns... This would also comprise special storages and some new strategy but might bring good results. Poor countries require less for the expenses and are most vulnerable to the problem. They need solidarity and assistance, otherwise we are but part of a vicious circle. Only 65 countries have their version or translation of the museum legislation. To donate them to the rest is a little expense for the international community.

It is a burning  problem that many countries suffer from. ICOM Arab claims that only  from 1983 until 1999, Algiers has been plundered of 50 300 objects. The plunder continued. Not many Arab museums would have sufficient documentation of their collections to issue a legal search at all. The astonishing 95% of African heritage objects has been lost for national and local cultures by constant export. Their soul has been taken away from them. That is a shameful consequence of the advantage of the prosperous world taken of the helpless  part of the Planet. There can be no excuse for this crime.

5. The paradigmatic case on injustice, the bad fate and some chances

Though I was always an easy prey to British charm, - in the case of "Elgin marbles, I am a Greek. I do believe my top professional friend from England who said: "nobody tells British museum what to do".  Splendid, I almost hasted to exclaim. What if my colleagues there are not disputed because they are the epitome of the same possessiveness that created the former hard pride and recklessness of the big nation? If there would be a vision in them, they would negotiate a fair deal with the future: some sort of mixed ownership and use. Elgin marbles look best and say most where they come from. Yet, not all them, and certainly not all the time need they be at the either place. If visiting the part exposed in British Museum one would profit from having a real time video link to the rest in Athens, including the context lacking in London. There could also be in some adjoining space an on line communication channel for the public or expert comments. In supporting the deal, Greece could contribute a regular exclusive exhibitions on the ancient Greek treasures they and the British could also send other rare Greek objects to be temporarily exposed in Greece.

6. An additional practical solution

The best way to make sure one is not part of the problem is to become a part of the solution. Theory of heritage is in its adolescence and makes brave claims that practice can learn from. Unlike before, the new theory is not ashamed of giving ideas for practical solutions.

Museums without objects are possible and do exist, and so do even museums on concepts and intangible heritage. The ICT and Internet made possible the digitally born objects, and institutions alike. The world has changed and will continue to do so. The best one can do is to understand it and manage it towards the usable future. A museum may possess three-dimensional, palpable objects, but that is not the ultimate condition for an institution to be considered a museum. Museum consists (also) of  intention, capacity, ability and right, to pass on (both in space and time) the values recognized, researched and communicated, - found to be of vital importance in maintaining coherence of a certain identity. Museums are not about protecting the past but about protecting the (quality of the) future. The past is just the part of means to that aim.

Modern Greece has a specific role of the privileged inheritor of an enormous cultural patrimony. Due to the historic circumstances, this patrimony has been dispersed throughout the world, often in the circumstances that would be found questionable or very unacceptable today.

Yet, the harsh reality prevents major corrections to this historical development for a long time to come. Dealing solely with the problem of repatriation of cultural heritage Greece is not enough. There is also the right to certain procedures, the right of legitimate inheritor. When the original alley of kuros on Samos is replaced by impeccable copies (while originals are in museums), - it is a perfectly correct procedure, specific to the genius loci and provides legitimacy of substitutes there. Establishing, erecting the same alley done with substitutes in Essex would certainly be ridiculous. Doing the alley even with then originals would be impossible. However, Samos and the original context make the right.

Greece should create a specific heritage institution that would deal with the widest possible scope of the problem, turning it into advantage and creating itself still another attraction for visitors. It would be a quasi-museal institution, showing representations, substitutes, of illegally exported or stolen treasures of its culture. It would be easy to obtain the replicas and/or audio-visual and other representations of Greek exhibits from all over the world for the sake of showing them in such a specific institution. Refusal would create so much media space for the central theme of final reclaim that, I believe, most would consent instantly.

To avoid the image of "unsympathetic" institution that implicitly accuses all of theft or casts suspicion upon them, the concept should be enlarged and turned into a story. There can be exposed the representations of Classical Greek artefacts scattered all around the world; not any and not all, of course, but those that deserve to be shown cumulatively as a giant demonstration of Greek importance for the entire world, - how the fascination with ancient Greece continues throughout the last two millennia. The exhibition should, namely, show the spread and examples of values in architecture, design, ideas and terminology inspired by Greek heritage. Its virtual version would be a heavily visited web site: both of them a truly global Greek museum (a "Fascination Greece"?).

This would be a relevant, modern, attractive and even avant-garde institution, - a museum by all its functions and yet a unique international cultural centre to the extent of global tourist MUST. Such an example could be followed, I believe, by many other museum institutions internationally who would document the presence of their cultural artefacts elsewhere in the world. The times when museums existed to explain their collections has expired. Now they increasingly see and use their collections to tell the story of the identity they stand for. Neither the academic research nor the scientific contents of their messages suffer any lowering of standards. Museums are based upon scientific expertise, but live on communication. The language of communication is not that of scientists but the one of life, - told by the words and syntax we, the taxpayers, - all understand. 


Maybe things are simple as they seem to be. When about naivete, - anything worth our beliefs or trust, be it love or faith, is naive, specially if compared with the harsh reality. But that is also the power. There are many practical moves and improvements that many experts will bring into this matter, but ultimately, the decisive solution lies with the big changes we await: those of governance of law, of professionalism, justice, fairness in the division of wealth...- the improvement in the governing value system forming a new mind in many matters. We seem to realize that culture may well be the gravity centre of the social project, and yet to redistribute favourably even a particle of percent of  the state budget (or, indeed, military budget) seems such an impossible task. Curious and quite a dangerous world!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Can theory of heritage help peace ?

The best that most of museums can do for peace, and all can, is to affirm, promote, generate political literacy; politically litterate are unlikely to become manipulated mass, - the matter of warfare.

What does theory do?

Practice is always a description of reality and its obvious potentials. Theory is about positions and conditions we want to achieve. When understood properly, its departure is practice  and its goal is practice. While practice moves through stages of perfection, theory navigates it by reading the context, setting its nature and purpose.  Without theory, practice is reduced to learning by tries and mistakes. The moment the practice gets reflective quality, an ability of abstraction and generalisation,quality of projecting, - it is more than practice.  Peace is just one of the innumerable positive, constructive phenomena that heritage institutions, museums included, can serve. As powerful accumulation of evidence, information and knowledge, heritage institutions are meaningful only if they use their potential for the benefit of common good. As tools of selected, collective memory, they can go as far as producing wisdom instead of mere information and knowledge. Their immense power of unbiased communication can, therefore become decisive means of democracy. True peace is the consequence  of ennobled mind, but to become such, the mind needs arguments and advice. No public institutions than those of heritage are better equipped to provide help to troubled and bewildered citizens of the present world when about the quality of their lives. Peace is the basic one. 

The general theory of heritage, heritology, to make it simple, has the purpose in becoming the philosophy of the heritage profession(s),  in providing critique of theory and practice, sets the content and methodology of  transfer of the professional experience, foresees and projects professional future and establishes the relation of heritage professions towards the development.

The peace and its nature

In the socio-political chemistry what we strive for is the harmonious stability of divergent elements in which violent reactions would simply have no chance. Agreements, treatises of alliance, ceasefires and laws are not enough.

Peace depends upon conditions provided. The first condition is the honest prosperity based on the fair division of common wealth. Obscene wealth should be a social sin as its worst effect is constant production of inequality and conflict. It cultivates Greed and provides growing legitimacy to it. Existence of injustice and dominance deny the very possibility of peace.

Most of the world will experience no wars in the usual, historical way. The state of "munus omnia contra omnes" - the fight of all against all. Our streets are becoming the fighting filed all too often and the "war" of the groups against others are frequent. We see that minorities of radical orientation be it about fur-coats or diet can truly molest the majority. The clashes will be increasing very much by the growing accumulation of despair, loneliness and aggression in individuals. Those will surely form the dangerous falangues and produce unrest. In brief, war is becoming the daily reality: less dramatic because dispersed, but ruining the quality of life nonetheless.

Peace is one of the pillars of democracy. It is the outer form of natural and human rights exercised. It can flourish only upon the, responsible choices in development, civil insight and transparency of societal, developmental and political processes, unbiased information, rich cultural life and unbiased information. Democracy is utopian and does not exist. Only tries to have it do. So peace as quality of living is a precondition to democracy and prosperity. The scared and suffering are an easy prey to dictatorship and enslavement of all sorts.

Peace is the way of thinking, a quality of human condition. The culture of peace is founded upon the system of values in which the constructive, creative and emphatic qualities of human genius are part of the matter of reason and common sense. Being  different and of different attitude should be aberrant and deficient, as nothing that produces despair, discomfort, conflict and poverty can be regarded as humanly acceptable. So, peace is possible in the the world where it oresents the priority and true aim. But, peace is not the priority of the world we live in.

Wars are for the poor devils


When about richness distributed, almost all of it goes to the rich. When misery and wars are distributed globally, the poor get all of it. Classical wars will be exported/or implanted in the third world where resources have to be conquered for the ever more avaricious and greedy corporations. Therefore we live in the world where peace needs to be defended daily and where peacemakers are constant losers. Wars are everywhere. The troubled history will take time to settle and correct what needs to be corrected. Wars are politics gone mad. Anything can be an excuse for war. If there isn't any, - well it can be created. War is an export product easy to sell: there's always somebody to embrace the project and many to take part in the feast.
Museums and other institutions of collective memory could be of some use for peace. They are already.
If terrorism is an excuse, - so much the better Otherwise the world we have inherited would have no basis for the repression: a picture of an impossible world!

The unpeaceful world we have


By the nature of the world we shall be inclined to CONQUER as much and as far as we can reach. Saying "we", is rather inaccurate, as most humans are not  interested to interfere with anything which is beyond our immediate life environment or, in the other extreme, beyond the stratosphere. (Why would anybody spend billions on space research while we have so much to do and spend on the world so badly in the need). So, who are "them"? Preponderant forces of the society, world leaders, the NSC (when about the accumulation of power ), IMF, WTO, multinational corporations... Another paranoia? Not really, because their own documents clearly assume the responsibility and ambition: they do want to lead the international community and they feel responsible for it. The only difference is that they want us to say how happy we are with this fact and how democratic all this is. If one has difficulties to utter that, one is either anarchist or communist, as it suits their moment.

We, the citizens of the world are deceived. The century old doctrine that saw peace as the result of balance of power was useless when it was there (Francis B. Sayre). Why are we tortured again by the remaining imbalance?

They wars can be subtly manipulated business that hardly ever appears in history textbooks and museums. If not directly, an invasion can always be done from within the country: like English did in Sudan by using Egyptian soldiers and French money, or Russians in Poland, or indeed, America in so many places that they cannot remember them any more. Direct exports of war as mere conquest is an endless sequence of evil that constitute the world of today. Curiously, the most powerful countries are the greatest sinners in their past and these stories are "little else than a long succession of useless cruelties" (Voltaire about History).

In the world in which military investment is hundred times bigger than that for culture and noble causes like arts, - we only have what we invest in: lot of wars and proportionally more destruction and misery and. No God of ours that we pray to, approve that, -  and we all know it. But most of the wars are fought in gods' name and with priests' blessings. We live in the greatest era of hypocrisy in human history. UN has become alibi provider for those in it who are powerful enough to put vetos on undeniable, or manipulate decisions by financial blackmailing. Of course, there is nothing new about it: Might makes right. Anything positive is always more demanding. Aristotle said "It is more difficult to organize peace than to win a war". And, as ever, the responsibility is always with power.

Homo homini lupus, or how are we manipulated to chaos

Greed as the only remaining ideology is proposed and praised: the public hoola balloo in the meantime drumms incessantly about human rights, all sorts of rights, making us all live at daggers drawn.... Individuals are given the illusion of importance by suggested total freedom of individual claims. But, try the substantials! Tied to the working place, reduced to working skill on the market, scared by insecurity, robbed by the banks and brainwashed by the media, contemporary person is a destitute serf in modern feudalism. Those who refuse the exausting daily toil in total insecurity and deny happy consumerism will end up in hospitals and asylums, with destroyed marriages, destructed families, broken friendships... Thus individuals become separated by interestes and find themselves completely alone. From there on, - the Great Greed Force has another lump of clay to build its instrumentalized Golem, - the Machine as Lewis Mumford would put it.  

Behind the democratic scenery, there is a mastodontal global project of creating the billions of scared, lonley individuals that will willingly find the shelter in the parades of collective ego and become the happy inhabitants of the Planet Hollywood, - a vision common to any totalitarian scheme. "Democracy" is one of the most frequently used words of today: the first proof it does not exist. The citizen is turned into a shopper of dreams and illusions. He/she is stuffed and grind by media with daily portions of Somma, kept busy buy insecure existence and incessant competition, entangled by loan sharks (who, in Europe at least, used to the banks in service of community)...

The expectation of the creators of it is that we will not notice what is happening as danger seemingly died away by the fall of the Berlin wall. And, they just might be right. So you will neither notice the planetary shame of legal trade with the right to polute; or, - that the multinationals of the first democracy in the world caused the last two dozens of  wars on the very same and only Planet.

When you start believing that smoking is the worst problem of mankind and that lives of white mice are question for to be or not to be, then you are part of the mass.  
The only possibility is the organised citizen. But the citizen must be educated enough and informed enough not only to look but to SEE. Will our institutions help? Will professions stay faithful to their plot against laity, a temptation Bernard Shaw signalled so long ago?


What can heritage institutions do for peace?
Military, war and museums alike, for the most and still quite horrifying and disgusting places, sort of manipulated reconstructions of crime scenes. Their scientific background may be correctly done but who made the choice? What if "events in the past may be roughly divided into those which probably never happened and those which do not matter (W.R. Inge). What if generalized history is indeed "a branch of speculation, connected (often rather arbitrarily and uneasily) with certain facts about the past" as Aldous Huxley claimed?

Tens of thousands ambitious, scientific and expensive museums glorify the warriors, generals or imperators. We passed through a long succession of "useless cruelties" (Voltaire about history) and hardly any museum admits any guilt. Servile to their bosses and and autistic in their community, they show but glorious, rightful armies and their wicked enemies. We glorify generals, murderers and plunderers, but hardly any of the peace makers: it seems our museums tacitly consider them traitors.

Taken as a whole, museums hardly record the human epopee of suffering, and if they do it is often one side of the story. They rather praise conquest and victories as triumphs of the national strength.

Who caused then such a terrible suffering on this Planet? Who made it a place of continuous slaughter? Can each nation and each community finally take up their blame and, being purged by the truth, continue by being better? In museums? Hardly. Disturbing memories might cause unwanted effects . Elsewhere? Not probable. When politicians, priests and educators talk the language of intolerance and hatred, the country will know no peace; anybody different or any difference will be the good enough enemy. But, maybe, finally, there would be the time for the red line and different continuation? Museums will not change the world but may help in making this change possible.

"Peace is not the elimination of the causes of war. Rather it is a mastery of great human forces and creation of an environment in which human aims may be pursued constructively". (James H. Case, Jr. ) It "is not absence of war, it is virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice (baruch Spinoza)

Telling stories of importance of peace is dull and uninteresting. But presenting the eternal values of justice, freedom and prosperity that constitute the peace, can be quite intriguing. It is values that make the peace possible as the one that comes out of mere war exhaustion is neither timely nor enduring.  Museums cannot change the world but they can help towards making it better by sowing the love in place of hatred, pardon instead of injury, union instead discord, faith instead of doubt, hope instead of despair, light instead of darkness, joy where sadness is (paraphrase of St. Francis of Assisi). One should question the use of history museums as a whole, at least to find out the positive examples and praise them as the way onwards. There are more and more of them, to tell the encouraging news………………………

The heritage institutions have to propose attractive ways of explaining that the sure way to hell is the growing apotheosis of egotism. Peace is not the set of rules and agreements. It is quality of culture and a state of mind. If heritage institutions cannot teach qualities that mean peace or set ground for it, then they are dead capital, - misused and buried. The mere knowledge amassed in the immense quantity of evidence they keep in their vaults or expose in their galleries is impressive enough for that. If taken as material for wisdom, this collective memory is worth the effort. It becomes truly meaningful. Why on Earth should the collections exist if they cannot remind us, teach us that 90 billion people died so far on the Planet and that most of them knew what was wrong and disgraceful in human existence: the incessant killings and destruction instead of love, compassion, comfort and prosperity?

Peace themes are dull  and uninteresting: tautological, patronizing, disciplined, educational, unattractive... But, tell the interesting story! In some  foreseeable future, when we build up a strong profession of heritage communicators and carers, we shall probably still have enough public money to demonstrate that we are not just passive scribes to the masters of the history, but also partakers in it, - those who use knowledge to provide the usable answers to our fellow beings. Internet is the apotheosis of knowledge. But as mountains of knowledge grow endlessly, as we drown in the ocean of the useless information, - we seem to have less and less wisdom. Can curators tolerate it infinitely? Can intellectuals be calmed forever? We shall be loosing our public jobs and having walls build around us only if we are just few, if we do not represent a profession. We do not want to become a political party. We do not want to offer the sole and only truth. We do not require the privilege of obedience. What we do have to offer is the entire truth, all sides of it, timely, useful, ethical and responsible, - referring to the obvious problems of our taxpayers and users.

In the panopticum of illusions and deceit, we, ordinary people are puzzled and frightened. What is what and who is who, indeed? We are attacked by the armies of scoundrels of all sorts, no matter what title or position they disguise themselves in. All of them fight either for our mind or valet or both, indeed and use an array of techniques to swindle our minds and our perceptions. The reasons are always the same: power and gold in all shapes, colours and alloys.

Heritage institutions should be like grandfathers, old uncles, wise grandmothers, - knowledgeable and experienced friends who help us re-gain control of our mind and senses. They would tell us stories of the experiences stored into their vaults, stories about the human nature and its temptations, about traps and enemies, about ways to freedom and harmony. They have to teach us what is true and what is false, what is beautiful and why, - in brief how to recognize virtues, how to posses them and how to enjoy their blessing. We do not need them as hermetic philosophers but as simple wise men, able to guide us through our own world: our schools, our shopping malls, our jobs, living ambiences, natural environment, politics, media, places of interest... All these places and activities need to be interpreted to be fully and correctly understood. Schools can  do much, but we need a genuine learning environment, - that what we so eagerly and idealistically expected from television. 28 hours of TV programme that an average American consumes a week, is rarely more than bubbles in the Coke: the nothing that became new epitome of reality. Freedom is being able to live and think autonomously and decide for one self. Individualism is the future cut to measure of any human being, and not the horror of total loneliness as it is daily projected. The Great Greed turns humans into insecure addicts who fly from freedom and fall prey of  collective hysteria.



Anatole France thought, like many, that universal peace will be realized because it will be imposed by "new order ot things, a new science, new economic necessities". The future is likely to become a constant denial of peace qualities. Wars will be rare as the resources all over the world become either conquered or privatized and re-sold to corporations. But the unrest, conflict, and terrorism will be the daily practice of a war as social and political state. The Great Greed Forces will take it as a further excuse to limit the the freedom.

Once the daring and adventurous human spirit is orientated towards the inner explorations, of which art is the best example, - the mankind may count with chances of survival, both in the sense of upgrading of human nature and that of harmonious, sustainable development. That, however, is a distant and rather improbable variant as human nature will remain an easy prey to its fatal enemies. Petrarch counted five of them: avarice, ambition, envy, anger and pride.

We look forward to the time when Power of Love will replace the Love for Power.
(William E. Gladstone). Losers or winners, we have no choice but to build our edifice of virtue as societal project. I am a convinced pessimist but humankind has survived so far just because we never learned to give up. This terrible shortcoming is also our chance.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Community - basic element of the territorial museum

... or: How can museums serve community best

The departure point: Territory[1]

Territory is another name for identity. It is always established through the recognition of some evident coherence. The span of that phenomenon covers an enormous richness: from the creation of God to the creation of Man, from geography (as the most natural circumstance) to language (as the most artificial addition). Its “final” version is the result of constant exposure to variety of forces: from natural elements (as, again, the most natural circumstance) to wars (as the meanest betrayal of the Divine). Any territorial museum is necessarily a complex, multidisciplinary museum.

The identity is the system of values that is best expressed in the notion of culture; or, to paraphrase A. Devalees[2], the territory of the museum is the one where certain cultural identification makes sense. This infinitely complex whole encompasses thus entire environment. It is understood that humans are at its fullest sense a biological kind and “would find little ultimate meaning detached from the rest of the life”[3]. Traditional museum, namely, is a materialisation of an anthropocentric weltanschaung, false in its humanist deviation.

The complexity of territory is at the same time the subject and the object of the museum institution. It is an ideal projection of all-inclusive, total collection in one sense, and the entity the museum services, in another.
Well understood this fallen barrier “does not mean that everybody has to consider themselves a museum object, but rather one of the guardians and one of the creators of a certain heritage permanently renewed, permanently recommenced”[4]. When about curators who tend to understand things too literally, there is “a risk of putting the population in the cage in a way it is done in a ZOO, and a risk of manipulating that population”[5]. Of course, what we are after is not the territory itself, nor only “the relations of man to that territory”[6] (as that would be too simple), but the furthest possible number and intricacy of interrelations within the community, of community to territory, of nature to humans those between humans etc.

The entire building of ecomuseums’ innovation stands upon the invention of the territory as basis of their endeavour: “When about the notion of territory, it is issuing directly from the new concept of collections as proposed in Le Creusot”[7], that is, the invention of ecomuseums in the late 60s opened this avenue to quality museum service.

The territory may not be only the one assigned to one museum only. In case of ecomuseums, the museum service may take the form of antenna, -the network of smaller museums or simple outposts. In other cases, where the approach is equally based upon the clear notion of territory (as the term denoting the complex identity), there may be several museums sharing the common conviction that they work together upon the same case: “570 square kilometres is our common territory”[8].

Of course, it helps to classify and systematise. SAMDOK’s pragmatic simplicity when dealing with complexity of identity is next to perfect. Their systematisation was meant for the contemporary documentation problem, and when adapted [9] for museum use showed the same quality: agriculture, nutrition, industry, trade, services, culture, arts, education, communications, organisation of the society.

The territory is thus a true starting logic of an useful museum, and an approach which makes “territorial” museum, in whichever form done, a protagonists of true museum mission. That of of continuity and survival under the criteria of quality living.

The means: collections[10]

The limits of quantitative logic and further definition of social role of museums, have been present long ago in the minds of museum professionals (Dana, 1920)[11]. Territorial museums are on the spot: there where the social role is matter of a honest sharing of whatever constitutes the life of the community. The museums find themselves finally in the era of quality, at the turning point when heritage concerned institutions have to re-define their mission through this long neglected optic.

There are more and more museums that derive their collections from participation of the community they serve: people bring them objects. Many among eco-museums did so, but also museums which do not have such a specific profile. Museum of Romanian Peasant in Bucharest (EMYA Award for 1997) has obtained objects from peasants arranging for them a visit to the museum and certificate that made the cooperation more dignified. Finnish Forest Museum, started "ex nihilo", assembled the entire collection from gifts offering in return a certificate, year free entrance, and the name in the book at the entrance. Regional Museum at Spittal am Drau, Austria, never bought (and never will) any object for their collection: their principle is well respected in community; the Director claims with perfect common sense, that making an exception would put donors in an awkward position. The reason may look financial in nature and consequence, but is much more than that, as it is explained well in the example of the Workers' Museum in Copenhagen: "Exhibitions were based on the material people had given us, that is to say, on those very objects which they perceived as their history"[12]. Museums like these accumulate little more than they expose, or if they do the collection is dispersed where it can do some good. The indecent greed, inbuilt in the logic of many conventional museums fills their reserves so much that they expose the usual 10 to 20 percent of their collections in their permanent exhibitions. The quality difference lies in the motives for collectioning: for the science (user comprised), or for the user (science comprised). In the former case it is the avarice born out of the quantitative perfection, and in the latter the reaction to the need of mirroring the complexity of the territory and the innate need for self knowing. The specific complexity, of course, - because some museums decline, as a matter of principle, any possibility to posses or expose objects which are not pertinent to their territory. Again, some curators reading this would say “we have seen that”, like when refusing to admit the novelty of ecomuseums on the ground of resemblances to regional museums. Local spirit of the collection does happen indeed, but usually as a consequence of the scientific limitations imposed upon the collection or as a consequence of relative poverty. But this here is the ethically founded responsibility, a new way of thinking, a conviction we recognize in ecomuseums.

The complex identity can best be presented on its own ground and it is fundamentally ethically correct to do so. The museum is good enough as interpretation and orientation centre. Keeping and caring for the values pertaining to that identity, gives museums the opportunity to participate fully in life: visually, functionally, symbolically.... After the life gives them enough reason, the values may also (assisted by museum action), return to some use, thus retaining at least the essential qualities of the certain identity alive. Guided by this logic, any territorial museum, be it small regional museum in the province or the city museum in the capital, will have to regard its territory a display in the need of constant interpretation and care.

The complexity, of course, may mean literally anything, including, as it was already said, even the people themselves. The stage of the museum is theirs, anyhow: In the (territorially enormous) Ecomuseum Haute-Beauce, Canada, almost every familly wrote its own chronicle, which is a testimony valuable as any other museum object. In this pulsating and constantly changing whole, every individual is creator of however tiny part of the local history, and with every departing member, the particular life experience is reduced to some “collectable” contribution. In most cases, that experience, even in its physical part will stay in use as an underlying  yet unrecognised part of certain reality (say of a family, group or community). The museum may recognize that individual contribution and, being a sort of collective ego, preserve it and let it eventually sediment in live collective memory.

The success of a reformed territorial museum corresponds to the measure of becoming the underlying structure of the living identity, a sort of omnipresent, (almost) invisible sage, a carer of the well kept though changing values. A reformed territorial museum is founded upon conviction that all objects are “born” equal, i.e. that museum is not a the glory account of the people it incidentally belongs to or depends upon, but of the lives of all the sharers of the same identity. It is not based upon the collection of superlatives, but is a collection which talks equally about drawbacks (which instruct best) and highlights (which inspire most). The quality of collection will  be expressed in high objectives and creative use of it; it may include the capital items and the masterpieces of any sort if they happen, but it will contain a richness of quotidiana and efemera – at least by the measures of conventional elitist museums. The other aspect of quality would be, of course, the ends to which the collection is used. If it helps to maintain the diversity and richness alive and functional in everyday life, - museum does a good job. Of course, there are other tasks which fall into the universal categories of advancement of human nature, like its creative exposure to and instruction in the divine matter of beauty. The aims can be set “lowly”, - as enhancing the daily life, say by making a good choice of wall paper, or resisting some consumerist folly.

The approach whose ambition is the useful museum, changes the character of the collection (partly) into the interpretive inventory. That is, of course, the Troyan horse which we started to fill long ago with the so called "secondary museum material". With the hyper media inside, it is apt to challenge any museum tradition. But, there are no surprises, it has been already wheeled in long ago: we always lived with alternative but there was time when it could be ignored. The information technology[13] makes possible: (a) the transparency of the museum working process, (b) opening up the entire collection to the users (c) effective museum networking or, indeed,working together; it enables and favours interdisciplinary and trans-sectorial cooperation as well as such products and is inherently participatory. It is the logic of the information technology that will give the decisive momentum to creation of a heritage care&communication mega-profession, the one that would both theoretically and in practice (from social contract to common information network) present firm partner to the ruling forces of the society[14].

The alternative practices (visible collections, loan service, participation in conservation, etc.) favour identification of users with the museum medium: the sense of involvement, of museum as shared possession, the pride of partaking in establishing and running an institution, - that is the fertile ground for an useful museum. Only in this way, the museum can become part of living, like a football match or a pop concert. There is a subtle art of assuring the respectable professional standard while giving over (what is otherwise hidden and fragmented) and stepping down (from scientific, intellectual and class pedestals). This is the core matter of the campaign for quality we have to launch finally in our profession if we want to avoid becoming “endangered species” ourselves[15]. That is an attitude based upon the double cult: of extreme professionalism and of humble service to the common welfare, - a challenge any good priest would know.

Any collection is but the means towards the set of objectives aimed at material and spiritual prosperity of the people, - not the science, not the profession, not the ruling class of money owners, decision and opinion makers, not anyone but the community as it is.

A collection is physical substance of the museum’s intended role and mission, good inasmuch as it proves to be quality matter in the subtle process of recording, caring, preserving, amplifying, and transferring the identity it helps to live.

The purpose: Community

Community, that is the individuals who share the common set of values that constitute them as a whole, - represent the starting and the final objective of museum.

Territorial museum is supposed to respond to their wishes and their needs. Whereas there might exist an elitist museum in some particular situations, like in cultural capitals and big universities, - territorial museums are democratic institutions serving the common welfare.

Being a public institution par excellence, museums correspond to the definition of the humanist value system. The needs are therefore described as the values of that system that have to be attained or maintained. As the value system changes, the needs change and so should the museum. But, museums lag behind.

We may be in a syntagm of post-modern, post-humanist, age of synthesis, but (just because) we are experiencing the growing attraction to utopian visions like R. Owen’s New Harmony (of some two centuries ago). No wonder as we are again experiencing still deeper immersion into the egoistical reality of self-benefit and profit defined society. (The dream of freedom to infinite purchasing and endless possessioning is becoming widely nurtured and offered as the substitute for democracy). The new crave for The Paradise lost, for the true ideals, brings people back to religions, as science (and its museums) offered only knowledge. They never said that knowledge is but a raw material and by itself offers no final value of any sort. Museums must go further and offer that first spirituality of might, love and wisdom (all attributes of God himself  according to T. Campanella). For a community, might is knowledge, love is empathy, compassion and understanding; wisdom is all that together, meant to help any individual as well as entire community to make viable, quality decisions. 

Wisdom is the essential orientation on the life values: for the continuation of identities, successful and effective (quality) survival, - spiritual, first of all, but not separated from the biology and economy. It is knowledge where no particular interest prevails, the one that starts with “Why”s, -  hermeneutics and epistemology, receiving the form of common reasoning. Wisdom grows from morality and should strive to achieve creative freedom, contentment, health and affluence under the condition of equal chances and within the society ruled by justice.

To any pretentious “practitioner”, this will seem as irresponsible enumeration of utopian ideals and useless avoidance of true problems. Those are, as they claim, all of scientific, managerial and technological level. It is correct to claim that all that is important, but only once we know why would any community need a museum. The set of old answers is as wrong as it is simple. The truth is different. To do our job well, be it in a tiny museum or the huge institution, we have to master four areas of expertise: (a) knowing well the nature of the world in which museums operate and our users live, (b) having a clear philosophy of the profession as a total understanding of the museum and heritage ideas (c) perfectly knowing our users (d) knowing well the set of techniques, methods and procedures which we call the museum working process. Only the fourth expertise can be learned on the job, although it is not advisable: too long and expensive.

Only by these three + one, areas of expertise, professionals be able to face the real problems: those of running the institution effectively, and of making/offering the good product.

What concerns us here is obviously the product. It is any corrective input into community that helps to restore the (permanently endangered) balance. The long story of “cybernetic”[16] museum is just another try to assert that museum belongs to the societal forces of adaptation and correction, - counterbalancing the aggressive change which has become so dangerously imposed that the human destiny may well be already out of hand. It is this fear, that created the utopian outcry for sustainable development.

If you feel your community or part of it feels fear, give them some hope, by showing that their predecessors also felt it. If they need hope, offer it by comparing their state with situations where hope was fruitful and justified in spite of the gloom. If they oppose the ruthless destruction of their natural environment, join them (cautiously) by arguments they would be unable to gather themselves. If they do not react to the merciless devastation of architectural heritage by real-estate speculators, offer them an insight into the quality of it and consequences for the cultural, tourist image....If they suffer from illiteracy in art and crafts, becoming easy victims to consumerist tricks, instruct them into the matters of beauty and style. If some support the new nuclear power-plant and others refuse, offer them an overview of arguments for both variants with consequences they have to accept. If they are manipulated by politicians into developmental strategies which are short-sighted, making quick profit for some favoured business, try to suggest different approaches and solutions by using the examples from the past of the same community, by drawing parallels, by using outside experts etc, etc....

Of course, all that would be too much to expect, some of it practically impossible, but one thing is for sure: if we have that tremendous amount of knowledge, well selected and filtered from the past experiences of generations of our ancestors, we, therefore, have a chance for wisdom; and if we have a community with its needs knocking on the doors of our conciousness (they still don’t expect much from us, do they?), we have a a matrix of our professional philosophy: our community is the boss, and their needs are our programme. All the rest is hardly more than a technique.

This simplicity is the core of the problem. It requires insight, understanding, ethical commitment and a hard work. The most obvious “reward” may easily be refusal of finances to the museum, or as we know well, suspension of the director[17]. The paradox is that, when this starts to happen, you may well know we’re doing what we are supposed to do.

But, to sooth down the scared traditionalists, you may also do the job just by pretending you’re doing something important for your community. You give them what is expected from you: a splendid permanent display and a row of temporary exhibitions and events that are conventional cocktails consisting of prestigious but meaningless components of sciences and arts. When about identity and its history, you avoid any possible link with the present and future, deducing only passeist prestige and nostalgia. The mind of the ruling (as you are on that side of the community) will tell you well that when giving, you will do well by offering poor devils the glittering, useless things...Pannem et circenses! Or if, obviously, you offer the utter excellence, do it in a way to fascinate and add a touch of disdain for the crowd. They are well accustomed to be despised by politicians and might appreciate more what they cannot grasp but feel the importance of. This is why the international blockbuster exhibition will be the best solution. Talk to senses, not mind. Some, specially in the art world, even pretend talking to the mind: they make things so avant-guard that only the decadent or the sophisticated few enjoy while their snobbish followers only pretend to enjoy. If museologically uninitiated, no traditional curator will feel guilty. Administration supports him, media love him, public hurls into the museum...Reasonably or even well educated, the public (different from visitors and users[18]) is perfectly conditioned to support the museum part of the Mega Machine (L.Mumford) working the way it does. Why should you worry then about the 75%  of our community who never set their foot in the museum? It never crosses their mind, anyhow, that the museum is supported from their pockets. So, the museological dilemma is only a part of the bigger one, and there, like in the very living lies your preferred solution. It is always our frailty or our strengthen that take the chance.

Museum institution needs relevance, respectability, guarantee of successful functioning. What any community member needs is sense of importance, self respect, (not any but) usable knowledge, security, well-being and, - the immortality; of course, not the one pretended in museums, but the immortality, to paraphrase Rolland Barth, of the human kind, of those values and qualities that link it to Gods forever.

If it wasn’t clear enough how can museums serve their community best, it remains to try a brief version: Museums can bring us closer to meaningful existence by being a reliable, friendly place, doing what any respectable, old, wise friend would do. The shortest definition of a museologist, which explains what the institution itself might be, is: Museologist is a curator with the mind of visitor[19], so the good territorial museum is the one with the community on its mind. Science remains the basis and collections the means, but the job is theatre; a specific one though. 

[1] Šola, Tomislav. Essays on Museums and Their Theory/ Towards the cybernetic museum. The Finnish Association of Museums, Helsinki, 1997 (pp. 68-   ) p. 295
[2] Desvalees, Andre in discussion, at the occasion of the ICOFOM symposium “Originals or substitutes”, Zagreb, 1983.
[3] Wilson, Edward O.Pregled, Zagreb, p.233
[4] Collin, G. L’ecomusee du Mont-Lozere. A paper at the symposium “Museum, territory, society”, London, 1983. pp. 5
[5] Desvalees, Andre. L’esprit et la lettre de l’ecomusee. p 54; In: Ecomusees en France. Actes de premiers recontres nationales des ecomusees, L’Isle d’Abeau, 1986. pp 267ECO, 702,Desv.
[6] Veillard, Jean Ives. Le musee d’histoire, muse de combat. A paper at the symposium “Museum, territory, society”, London, 1983.
[7] Hubert, Francois. Pays de Rennes, un ecomusee de la fin des annes quatre-vingts. In: Ecomusees en France. Actes de premiers recontres nationales des ecomusees, L’Isle d’Abeau, 1986. pp 267
[8] the words of ......, director of  Isle of Man Museum when presenting the museum for the European Museum of the Year Award.
9 “Slovenianum”, Heritage orientation and information centre, Ljubljana (project by T.Šola, unrelised)

[10]  More about the theme in: Šola. Tomislav. Redefining Collecting. In: Knell, Simon J. (ed) 1999. Museums and the Future of Collecting,. Asgate, Aldershot.
[11] Dana, John Cotton. 1920. A plan for a New Museum, Elm Tree Press, Vermont
[12] Ludvigsen, Peter. 1995. A Workers' Museum in Copenhagen. Museum International, 188, vol 47, No 4, p.41
[13] Šola, Tomislav. 1995. How Museology perceives information technology. Commet Conference, Swansea/Barcelona, 1995.
[14] Introduction to the cybernetic museum. in “Essays on Museums and Ther Theory”, Finnish Association of Museums,
[15] Šola, Tomislav. Museum Curators – The endangered Species. In: Boylan Patrick (ed.) Museums for the 2000. Routledge, 19....., London. ( A paper at the conference of the 100th anniversary of Museums Association, UK)
[16] a few chapters in the book: Šola, Tomislav. Essays on Museums and Their Theory/Towards the cybernetic museum. Finnish Association of Museums, Helsinki, 1997. pp. 295
[17] Zolberg, Vera. Museums as contested sites of remembrance: the Enola Gay affair. In the book: Macdonald Sharon; Fyfe Gordon (editors). Theorizing Museums. Blackwell Publishers. 1998.
[18] Šola, Tomislav. From visitors to users. Informatica Museologica. No 3-4, Zagreb,1997.
[19] Šola, Tomislav, scattered in texts and lectures ever since 1987.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The critique and the future of collecting

At the beginning was the idea, concept, a need. Collection followed. First museum-like establishments were but visitable collections. A modern museum institution developed in the last two hundred years is lagrely circumstantial and reflecting its immediate protagonists: that tradition does not oblige us to take the museum institution as the final and only answer to the set of needs that created it. Moreover, those needs are severely changed and extremely complex, implying the drama of the post-historical society. Yet, we are witnessing the unprecedented flourishing of museums and their deepest conceptual crisis, at the same time which is, obviously paradoxical. Why would that be the case? As the needs for protective mechanisms against the degradation of life become more dramatic, more museums are created to serve the purpose. Yet, what the profession(s) creating them can offer is very much inadequate and burdened  with the seemingly unavoidable tradition. The "tough" part of the problem is easily seen in collections as they increasingly demonstrate two major inconveniences: the increasing cost of acquisition, care and maintenance and their physical growth. There are significant developments, dilemma, and rising questions which dramatize the theme beyond strict professional concerns. Many feel that we ought to face ultimate questions.

"Growth is an inherent part of the mission of most museums"(Wilcox, 1995)[1]. It is still unquestioned starting point of the discussion. But, it will be shattered soon. Ten or more years ago the limits of the physical growth of collections were not so obvious to majority of museum professionals. Museology as set of headlights on the profession's vehicle was supposed to help: if we don't have this device we seem to be driving in the dark, seeing ahead only what we bump into.

The first "irregularity" in museum reaction was the establishment of reserve collections. It witnessed the acquisitiveness and the birth of museum communication: not all could be shown any more. But, this led to the series of problems we have to deal with now and in the future. In the dramatically changed world, nothing can be like it was any more: in the first half of the last century when museums started to grow, the world was populated by a billion of people and was guided by very different hopes. If public institution of museum appeared as a response to someone's needs, we know that museum must have changed its entire nature to fit new circumstances.

It seemed that museums could continue as expression of inherent acquisitiveness, but they cannot. It looked like they could limit themselves to the function of credible three-dimensional collective memory, but this becomes inconceivable: we have touched the ceiling of growth, both physically and financially. They do make sense, however, as a picturesque scientific theatre part of the mega-brain that we, as civilization, are trying to make. But their mission, accordingly, is not defined by memory which happens to be only one function of a brain.[2] It is neither defined by science nor by education. The traditional idea of knowledge that museums were supposed to serve does not comprise selectiveness, value judgements, creativity, participation, concern for the individual... Museums have thus forgotten to define themselves in terms of quality[3] i.e. responsibility and wisdom (which themselves include ethics and love as the basis of the museum mission).

Problems and paradoxes

Much of what we have in our museum collections is subjective and haphazardous in nature, or at least, collected by different ambitions and hardly adjustable to contemporary needs. Treasures of art were used to finance wars (Thomson, 199?)[4], quite a few were formed as a war loot, some partly restituted and others irreversibly damaged. The collected material remnants of history in constant making, can rarely claim continuity and coherence any science likes to see in 'its' museum. The rich amateurs from 16 century onwards, up until the present tycoons shape ruthlessly what should otherwise be set of collective values. When not motivated by deep fascination, it is sort of a socialized possessiveness and greed for power. There is no financial or political might able to resist, once consolidated, the temptation of dominating also the spiritual values. But there are also expressions of collective conquest in which scientists and army leaders were and are equally zealous. Museums contain the evidence of our conquests and seem not to expose what we have not yet conquered (Mendis, 1980)[5]. The science has limited collections within the frames of obvious and factual. The systems made possible museum as their PR mechanism: thus the ever "objective" science, itself but a servant, presents a different world's history in every national museum. All cherish the representation of life by the measures of the official excellence and perfection. This may tell a lot about aspirations but little about the richness and variety of life and living itself. First museums have been living witnesses of dying traditional societies, seeing the whole fine structure collapse and degenerate. They appeared on the scene as fetishist souvenir hunters. It is like doing one's best to save the hat of a drowning man. Museum "collectibles" rarely suggested the slowly appearing museum mission of serving the development of the society, let alone the sustainable one. 'Sustainable' is another word for harmonious and continuous, i.e. using the past as a source of survival wisdom. Relatively early in their history, the majority of museums and the appearing professionals served the institution and its owners, museum object being the ultimate value. 'But, objects do not make a "museum", they merely form a collection'(Dana, 1920)[6]. The lack of everyday objects eliminated life from museums and the true sense of museum existence remained quite blurred for many to come.

The perverted sense of quality appeared as giantism, a quantitative monster always there when responsibility is scarce. Hudson's law in Museology says: large collections, bad conservation[7]. If true as it seems, this opens up the Pandora's box of consequences. The growth is the universal problem into which museums fit only too well: 'Growth cannot continue indefinitely. The world is, therefore, facing a breakdown of the same type that has occurred frequently in the past. A good example is the failure of the Roman Empire' (Wilson, 1978)[8]. Museums present no empire, and it might not be the total failure that they face. Mildly named it is a deep conceptual crisis endangering their mission in the society. Never having succeeded to form a profession, museum people might be "endangered species" themselves (Sola, 198?)[9]. This obviously give right to some professionals when talking about "dying museums" (Jaoul, 1995)[10]. The proposal is that they die when they stop adding to their collection or when they have no reserve collection policy. But, that's the physical death easily comprehended (although quite late) through new questions of hard practice: the claim is that only 10% of our collections can be preserved (well)[11], although the 60% of budget in most museums is spent on keeping the reserves in good condition (MacDonald, 198?)[12]. Since very recently, nobody ever asked what is "the cost of collecting" (Lord, 198?)[13]. If some museum vehicles are moving at the growth rate of 7%[14], they would double their collections in ten years' time (!): acquire now, think later. But dying of boulimia or anorexia is not the problem of added or lost physical substance. It is the deficiency of mind and its functions. Why should it be different in museums? Museology means transfer of professional experience, self-analysis, self-criticism, devising policies and building the responsible and autonomous profession, with clear mission. Collections are neither curse nor ultimate blessing of museums. What matters is to know the ends the collections and the institutions above them should serve.

Professional insufficieny

Anything said could be easily assigned to professional inaptitude, but it would not be all. The contemporary dilemma between fetishism of originals and the virtual world that proposes only illusion is false inasmuch as it puts aside true questions of quintessence of objects and ideas. Older literature is full of evidence of how "all important" (Heath, 1977)[15] collection is in museums, and how it is "the predominant reason for many a museum's existence" (Alexander, 1979)[16]. Highest officials of the profession  were ready to draw our attention to the fact that "museums have to concentrate upon collections" (and not only to produce knowledge)[17]. Not many were able to discern the true problems. It must be the inescapable divine request of Eunomia, one of the Horae, deity of Order, that museums came down with aritmomania: an addiction to quantitative dimension of the reality, a sick urge to constant counting of everything. Or is it with the Muse Mneme, that the misunderstanding of her gift was cause to Hypermnesia, astonishing memorizing of the most insignificant details around: more and more about less and less. It certainly did not mean the trivial "quotidiana" in spite of the timely, sane voices which urged "conservation of everyday  life artifacts, rather than great monuments of antiquity" (Marsh, 1864)[18]. In the scientific perfection, curators often purged the spirit of passion and personal touch of great collectioners from their collections, by adding, filling the gaps, making the discourse "objective", or even by deaccessioning. Demonstrating such a disregard for the life of collection and the story it tells by its very composition, zeals and mischiefs that formed it, they were ignoring the life itself.

The obsession with the three-dimensional object is an ultimate proof of difficulties in understanding the proper nature of museum action. Museum object, collected, researched, exposed and interpreted is not the final product of its working process. If eternity was possible, it would not be achieved by physical substance of museum objects. Material culture may be instructive, but it still remains the means for understanding of non-material culture. The later, as the aggregate of values, mores, norms etc., of a society is more an ideational structure of culture than its physical appearance; it explains and makes us aware of values and meanings, and thus provides arguments for continuation and survival, when appropriate and possible, where, otherwise, the preservation of physical form would suffice. The capacity of mental/spiritual excel by far the offer through physical.

Contributing to the re-definition of  museums

The meaning of museums is not to study the past but our relation to it (It necessarily means knowledge about past, but also the knowledge of ourselves). Traditional museum slowly became the mediator between users and the past. The new museum should be a relay, an amplifier and decoder; it stimulates, assists, and serves as corrective mechanism. Museum is established when there's a dying heart of an identity. As museum is not a 'generator of culture" it is neither the replacement for the identity lost. It is neither the heart itself, nor the machine to stand in its place, but a pace-maker to help it function.

If we want to divide the museum development in three phases, the first would have collectioning as the central problem and research as the context. The second phase is the invention of labor division and three clear tasks: collectioning, research and presentation. The third phase would have the community the museum is supposed to serve in the focus of these three basic professional tasks. It implies communication, which in itself is possible only as willing exchange of information upon the common goal of quality living i.e. harmonious development. Only exceptionally, museums could exist as "collection-based type" i.e. due to the fact that some museums themselves present part of "collectable" cultural tradition. New museums should be new, and it would be hard to imagine any more strictly specialized museums should come into existence. Any museum object is poly-semic and when classified and interpreted from this discriminative point of view it gives away a misleading information and misses its rich interpretive capacity. Our users should not care for the frustrations of the individual sciences when forced to re-construct the former whole. Users did not invent them and they do not need the isolated, specialist, de-contextualized knowledge they offer. The method should not claim the status of the product.

The museum hypermnesia is fighting the invented enemy: the natural process of forgetting, the natural oblivion as filtered, selected knowledge. Any human being performs this natural process constantly, as perfect recall would transform us all into neurotics. And, curiously, this is exactly to what aim the beautiful new technology is being used. Oblivion is as natural and as important as memory. To forget is to make the hierachization and classification by importance, need and use in regard to future. To filter and extract the wisdom needed to move, develop and continue, the traditional cultures (that we keep the physical remnants of in our dark storages) used ritual, myth and art: the product of abstraction and sublimation was able to transcend the factual structure of the former reality. It would be probably rather naive to compare cultures to coral reef that myriad of generations build up from the bottom of the sea. Their common memory serves the obvious goal: to reach the light and give birth to the exuberant life of the atoll. What we require from this enormous machine with immense reservoirs of knowledge (in museum collections and elsewhere) is the little product of simple, common wisdom. We cannot deduce it any more amidst the roar of the "mega-machine" (Mumford, 1986)[19]and the ghosts that cheat our senses and create our needs. This mythos seems to be alive only in pop music.

Preservation of cultures, of nature or any identity comprised collectioning but never meant collectioning. Nobody can preserve tigers by killing them and putting them stuffed into the glass cases. (More human way is to keep them on life sentence in the ZOO). No traditional culture is preserved that way either. So, preservation can happen only there where the danger of deterioration, degeneration and decadence is taking place. This could be the true version of the field work. this could lead to the true collection which, again, is there where existing things and values face the extinction. If the disease is acculturation or "desertification" of cultures (due to the internationalization), one would imagine that the enemy should be neutralized where it performs its crime. The same with the nature that suffers from still another head of the same insatiable monster of greed. The reality is our primary collection. All else should be different means to deal with the problem of preserving the richness and variety so that we constantly push upwards towards some Light, whatever that might be. One of the means is museum collection: like a gland in the body museum should help the society function and grow harmoniously. Anything that restitutes balance and fights the forces of pauperization of the world is legitimate and good. So, collections have to go back where they come from. This return, whichever way it may be done, is the true sense of collecting. Of course, the profession (still in "status nascendi") will react to the "physical" obstacles first, doing physical moves to ameliorate its state. The problem is, however, quite conceptual in its essence.

Very recent professional testimonies provide us with lot to think about: 'The lifeblood of museums is in their collections (...)The museum, if it is not a collection, is nothing'(Cossons, 1991)[20]. Quite acceptable, indeed, if we re-define what a collection is and consequently what is a museum. The wide but only reasonable denomination of the (true) museum collection is that it is the reality itself, - past, present and future. But, since the map at the scale of one to one is not presentable, we have to reduce it, to concentrate it to make a choice of indispensable while still keeping the credibility. A museum institution is an artificial mechanism of preservation of developmental codes whose existence is endangered by the dramatic entropy. Museum is strategic and tactical reaction to the impoverishment of the totality of the natural and spiritual environment. This is why we shall have to speak about heritage media in order to encompass entire variety of institutional and non-institutional reaction. As for the latter, museum professionals like to forget that the un-structured, un-official and non-institutional museums that any individual and any group or community creates, possess (though sometimes curious) an immense collection. It contains less quality as defined by the standards of science but represents the life itself. What else can be the ideal of museums?

Dislocated reserves

It required no specific museological intuition to know some ten odd years ago that growing reserves will fill up all the available space on the museum premises[21]. Some where already in existence, but little was known about their existence and the future problems. Perfectionism was again ending up in opportunistic quantitativeness instead of quality. This postponed solution is bad and good at the same time. The bad thing is that it does not deal with the essence of the problem: hyper-acquisitiveness as musealization of the world. The good thing about it is higher standard of care, and in some cases, stronger collaboration upon a common case among different museums. Some museums, like those of Oxfordshire will discover that professional ripening, indeed growing up, happens as will and ability of working together (Ferriot, 1995)[22]. Pity if it all stays on the most obvious, as sharing the common reserve. The bright and revolutionary example of Swedish SAMDOK, as cooperation in the very process of collectioning is little exploited and feebly praised. We are looking for signs of unity which announces an accomplished profession able to propose itself as a strong, relevant partner to the System.  The new reserves of Musee National des Techniques in Paris at Saint Denis, or Museum of London's dislocated storage, or Smithsonian Institution's futuristic new reserves in Maryland, - will not solve the problem but give it some more time to grow without the museological drudgery and nuisance.

The accepted alternative

The limits of quantitative logic and further definition of social role of museums have been present long ago in the minds of museum professionals (Dana, 1920)[23]. We are right now in the era of quality, the turning point when heritage concerned institutions have to re-define their mission through this long neglected optic.

There are more and more museums that derive their collections from participation of the community they serve. Many among eco-museums did so, but also museums which do not have such an exact profile. Museum of Romanian Peasant in Bucharest has obtained objects from peasants arranging for them a visit to the museum and certificate that made the cooperation more dignified. Finnish Forest Museum, started "ex nihilo", assembled the entire collection from gifts offering in return a certificate, year free entrance, and the name in the book at the entrance. The reason may look financial in nature and consequence, but is much more than that, as it is explained well in the example of the Workers' Museum in Copenhagen: "Exhibitions were based on the material people had given us, that is to say, on those very objects which they perceived as their history" (Ludvigsen,1995)[24]. There is hardly a chance that museums like these would accumulate in their reserves so much as to expose the usual 10 to 20 percent in their permanent exhibitions. The quality difference lies in the motives for collectioning: for the science (user comprised), or for the user (science comprised). This later approach which ambition is the useful museum, changes the character of the collection (partly) into the interpretive inventory. That is, of course, the Troyan horse which we started to fill long ago with the so called "secondary museum material". With the hyper media inside, it is apt to challenge any museum tradition. But, there are no surprises, it has been already wheeled in long ago: we always lived with alternative but there was time when it could be ignored. The information technology[25] makes possible: (a) the transparency of the museum working process, (b) opening up the entire collection to the users (c) effective networking and, indeed, working together; it enables and favours interdisciplinary and trans-sectorial cooperation as well as such products and is inherently participatory. It is the logic of the information technology that will give the decisive momentum to creation of a heritage care&communication mega-profession, the one that would both theoretically and in practice (from social contract to common information network) present firm partner to the ruling forces of the society.

Creating visitable reserve collections is slipping again into the museum quantitative giantism: the guilt feeling about the community is turned into the further insight of the more specialized knowledge which, presumably, is not indeed what the users need. Most of the museums that did the dislocation of reserves presumed the best would be to open them to public, creating thus the second museum and all the problems that go with it (Deutsches Museum, Musee des Techniques, Museum of London etc.). The curious thing is that functional link between these museums and their outposts is based upon Internet and CD ROM. 

On the contrary, the genuine innovation was loan services which, presumably, date back to the beginning of the century only to develop in the 60s and 70s. This happened mainly in the art museums in North America where the tax benefits in purchasing the works of art for non profit organizations obliged its public use. There was the specific American responsibility towards the taxpayers which also inspired putting the art on public disposal. But European examples were as early as in 50's, as in the case of National Museum and Gallery of Wales. Art rental was the typical example of a structured try to make art accessible to as many people as possible. In Canada, Gallery of Art in Ontario had this service since 1965. "Art Bank Canada", in existence since 1972. worked well in distributing contemporary Canadian art to any interested party. Their reserve was a virtual museum and in early 80's 60% of the collection was always on loan, an example that bears symbolic as well as practical implications for the world of museums.

The participation in conservation is also possible as the example of British National Library shows: some ten years ago, it launched a campaign offering the books in the need of conservation for adoption. The contribution over 200 Lbs entitled the benefactor to putting the name in the book to mark the credit.

The alternative practices favour any identification of users with the museum medium: the sense of involvement, of museum as shared possession, the pride of partaking in establishing and running an institution, - that is the fertile ground for a useful museum. Thus only, the museum can become part of living, like football match or pop concert. But the subtle art of assuring the reasonable professional standard while giving over and stepping down is the matter of the campaign for quality we have to launch finally.

The future as it is and as it might happen

Having "the privilege of speaking the language of the époque" (Pirlot, 1972)[26], namely the language of image, museums are entitled to profit immensely from the upsurge of hyper-media. Properly used, it will provide for the three areas of museum concern: extensive collecting (by adding pictorial information in unprecedented affluence), interpretation (by providing contextual integrated information, participation (by leaving open channels of exchange with whoever wishes to join in). The usual collection may appropriate the compatible shape to these new possibilities: the collections should become smaller and cheaper. The three-dimensional, original object thus becomes a sort of golden reserve guarantee for the value of the communicational currency issued by museum. But, the currency can be issued elsewhere and be valid: we know that a museum can exist without an obvious collection under its vaults. In the case of The Museum of Jewish Diaspora in Tel Aviv, the collection is scattered all over the world and will, happily enough, stay there without discrediting the museum. The museum exposes practically no original objects at all, but the information is original and genuine, composed to tell the story which is both attractive and convincing. So, what matters indeed, is that museum preserves the values it was created for. It can do it by hoarding the mass of physical remnants of some past or by assuring that credible messages are created. When appropriated by the majority, and integrated into their changed behaviour, they assure the continuation and survival of the identity museum has to protect. This is the only true cause of collecting. This all may mean that the Malraux' vision of imaginary museum becomes possible as hyper-museum, cyber-museum or virtual museum. The powerful vision of this honorary museologist was based on the fascination generated by printed reproduction and its distribution.   

Conceptualization of collections

The traditional collection claims to be the identity itself: it stands for it and in its place. It is composed of "originals" whereas the original is only the complex whole the individual objects made part of. What we deal with are the bits and pieces of some former, lost reality. Realizing that, we shall regard all possible scattered elements of the former reality, in whatever shape they might be, as further advancement towards the lost entity. Thus, the care we assign to a collection stored in a museum, will gradually spread to cover things even non-existent in the physical sense,  or things which are not and will not be in the possession of the museum. Leopold Senghor said that with any old man who dies in Africa, an entire library passes away. This could be easily adapted to refer to a museum lost. Any person is a rich museum of memories and filtered experiences assembled as consequence of one's life and one's needs. Besides, all the people literally though unconsciously set up a sort of museum of their own. The museum idea living in any individual, as a responsible and delicate relationship with his/hers environment, is the ideal projection of museum mission. The hyper-media make it possible.

Museums and kindred institutions are created to care for the heritage. The primary aim is not the survival of collections but the survival of identity upon which the collection has been created. If this is so, than it must be that more heritage is still outside museums than within them. Therefore,  museum collection should, ideally, encompass everything concerning the given identity. Of course this was and remains physically impossible. What about hyper-media? Museologically treated, this vast configuration of objects and evidence of any sort would help to build a virtual reserve collection of immense size.   

The future collecting will run along the same logic as a good kitchen in a restaurant: a process indispensable and all-important but behind-the-scene, - basis for the social and cultural act of food consuming. Any good restaurant is sort of cybernetic mechanism, the corrective impulses to the kitchen come from the happy waiters and their immediate customers. Both, restaurant and museum offer a kind of catharsis if good enough: one to the palate, tongue and nose, but both (specially the later) to the senses, intellect and emotions. Yet, as victuals do not make good neither the kitchen nor the restaurant, so the objects in the collection do not make a good museum.

Creating the hyper-museum

Hyper-museum vastly multiplies the ways in which information from different fields and records can be combined and manipulated. Information there can be retrieved or visited both as hierarchical and non-hierarchical, sequential and non-sequential, diachronic and synchonic, pre-designed but allowing also free flow and free-form. The interactive media, computer manipulation of the digitalized image and creation of virtual environment, create new possibilities in communication but also in collecting. Holography was finally married to computer and this offers multiple chances. The latest example of using the synthetic image is 'reconstruction' of the cave Cosquer in France[27]. Most of the material from archives and museums can be transformed into numeric memory. The hyper-museum is a flexible stage where virtual reality, human performance and three-dimensional objects form and information space, - a scientific theatre.

This will not happen without new curators, artists and engineers, - all of whom will combine their expertise with common sense and belief in the better world. Naive as it may sound it is a claim for simple wisdom of survival which has to fight against the fatal greed of the "mega machine" (L.Mumford). As kitchen in a good catering, collections will have to be adapted to very specific uses; the best ones will always be able to serve even the individual customer to satisfy his/hers specific requirements. The flexibility of hyper-museum might be the direction.  Its logic, if transferred into the usual museum practice may change the entire working process and finally help in creating the distinctive profession.

Distribution of collections

There is no reason to believe that collectioning will cease or slow down. The pressure of quantitative perfection is still too strong. If it does slow down it may do so in relative terms: most of the western countries witness the birth of two new museum mushrooms a week, a trend not likely to stop soon. So there will be a parallel reaction of finding out alternative storage or getting rid of the excessive mass of objects. Good intellectual engineering would help in later dilemma, but since it would lead to de-accessioning, it is not likely to happen. Instead of opening space for fatal mistakes and corruption, as in the case of some American art museums, the preference will be in "distributing" the collections while still able to control their destiny and keeping them within reach when necessary.

Re-distribution can only become possible provided the concerned profession is united and mature. The possessive particularism has declared complete self-sufficiency of individual institutions and sacredness of integrity of their collections. This is defensive act deriving from feebleness and inaptitude. It is quite possibly tre that most of the museums could reduce their collections to the minimal size without seriously harming their value (Glusberg, 1986)[28]. Re-distrubuting the collections does not necessarily mean loosing them or loosing their trace. The heritage is meaningful only if integrated and treated accordingly. The museum division is unnatural and will be overcome once the related occupation becomes the true profession. Such a profession will be able to redistribute, to quite an extent, what is a result of occurrence and haphazardous development. This will rationalize the acquisition policy and help both sides of the transaction.

There have been and are now museums which keep part of their collections in other institutions. The latest example of the practice one could have learned from Match stick Museum in Jonkoping, Sweden. Much material is placed in local schools and enjoys care the museum cannot afford. It is there also as a token of companionship. Within the variety of public and private institutions, there will always be willing partners to join in the effort to preserve while profiting from prestige and utility the collections provide.

Another way is inherent to the networking, sort of solidarity in which permanent loan or exchange could ameliorate collections of individual institutions while easing the burden of excessive collections. Organization and tracing of such transactions may not necessarily mean economizing in financial terms, but would spare space and bring new quality. This exchange may overcome even the sectorial frontiers: a museum lending part of the collection to an archive and vice versa.

An informatic retrieval and control of dispersed collections could easily calm the fear of losses.

A heresy would even have it further along the proposed logic: would it be, indeed, inconceivable to involve also private persons willing to adopt and care for certain number of museum objects. The choices and the risks could be graded successfully. The psychological and ethical value of this would be immense and would, in spite of risks, affiliate people to museum with all the good effects it may bring. No thinking or risk is wrong which aims at giving back to life what we have taken from it. One has to bear in mind that the alternative to this thinking is very uncertain future of museums suffocated by the mass of objects, decay of collections and, at best, their infinite imprisonment in the darkness of storages. Of course, museum profession has to get rid of its perfectionism (which wasn't ever that perfect as claimed), be it conservation or risk. The proclaimed perfectionism is barrier to corruption, but it also keeps away the life logic and lot of common sense waiting for too long in front of the doors of museums and conservation laboratories.

Collections for the evidence in cybernetic heritage action

Many museums will turn into corrective mechanism of the contemporary society[29], as one of the means for fighting the rising entropy. The term of sustained development, already spent by pretenders on all sides, is an old new call for wisdom in producing change and exploiting the resources. The level of aggression is such that we need to employ existing institutions and create others to take over some responsibility for corrective action. We need a reaction aimed at achieving the balance and harmony so much present in any sane, healthy organism. This is a rather naive hope, but there is practically no way for museums and similar institutions to escape from their responsibility. What museums have in their storages is not only a powerful resource of knowledge but, taken as it should be, a filtered, selected human experience which has to reach the quality of wisdom. Any other position will be most difficult to defend. Producers of knowledge today are many and more powerful than museums, but wisdom in a communicational medium like museums is rare and precious. Any sound reasoning would suggest that understanding becomes possible when connected to abstracting and subliming and is slowed or barred by over-accumulation: "To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day" (Lao Tse).

In constant research of past experience, museums can furnish perfect examples of material evidence in almost any dilemma that we face today. Museum must be a forum and a tool of democratic dialogue. Museums ought to participate in the everyday battle for sane solutions against the ongoing devastation of the social, cultural, civilizational or natural environment. To do differently and claim a distinctive role in society would be a mere demagogy. The estimate is that a thousand living species disappear every year. If systems like ISIS register these changes and establish data and blood banks to keep trace of the disappearing variety, we need an action to slow down the process. The same process is on in the cultural sphere where the loss of languages, customs, oral traditions, and richness of other differences is catastrophic. In both cases, museums should establish collections that would reflect the drama. In the particular sense of evidence, museum collection must be formed to anticipate the communicational usage which aims at stirring up the minds of many and creating upsurge of public opinion. Unless the taxpayers of tomorrow see such an obvious use of the collecting and actions that follow, they will divert their support to more awarding gain. In the tightening space, - financial, informatic, social, - the traditional museum arguments lose ground. 

Pulsation of the heritage sector

There are three basic functions of museum: Collectioning, Research, Communication. These three parts are subject to the consequences of excessive growth. Once important enough, they have a natural tendency to separate and form an independent existence. This was quite obvious some ten years ago. But even before the tendency was there: dislocated storages, exhibition centres and different institutes and centres that take over the research. Increase of stored objects and decrease of those exposed in galleries created the frustrative giantism and ataxia: it is centrifugal tendency that is permanently there and will produce further separated institutions. But there is also the centripetal tendency which is trying to keep the liaison among the parts, sort of virtual museum, or hyper-museum if it attains the effectiveness. This force is based upon the same logic which kept museums together before, helped nowadays by the mighty integrative nature of informatics. This informatic gravity will help to create the future, - heritage care profession. Both tendencies are simultaneous as centralization is good if it is matched by de-centralization and vice-versa.

Recycling of objects  - one among the possibilities

There is this minor, rarely mentioned possibility as well as practice[30], which is related to collectioning through preservation, care and informatic processing. There is a slight chance any institution could fight the aggressive commodization and consumerism. We dispose off with objects (and ideas, by the way) that are not given a chance, that were not fully used, exploited to their implied maximum. Museums of the future should offer active help in repairing objects for the prolonged use. Not any, but those which count and make sense as material substance of continuation. Helping to save objects in use is the wonderful paradigm of basic frustration that created, first collections and then museums. The workshop, as one form of it, is true occasion of "I do and (then) I understand", a perfect meeting point of the expert and laymen, a departure point of a venture which produces an interested, reliable visitor, not an obedient cultural snob.

It is often one thing to impress the fellow professionals and quite another to impress that far more important jury, - the customer. One starts to wonder, though, how long will it take before our customers start telling us about how really bad (or maybe just useless) we are. Or will they just walk away? 

[1] Wilcox, U.Vincent. 1995. Detached storage: the Smithsonian Institution's museum support centre, Museum International, 188 (vol.47, No. 4), p. 22
[2] "A great memory does not make  a mind, any more than a dictionary is a piece of literature", Cardinal John Henry Newman
[3] [ola, Tomislav. Beyond the sharing of knowledge; an introduction to quality in museums. A paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Museum Association of Canada: Sharing the knowledge, 1995.
[4] Thomson, John(ed). 199?. Manual of Curatorship. A guide to museum practice,    Butterworths.
[5] Mendis, Eustache. Museums and the bew technology. Proceedings of Annual Conference of Museums Association of Australia, Sydney, Oct. 1980.
[6] Dana, John Cotton. A Plan for a New Museum. The Elm Tree Press, Woodstock, Vermont, 1920.
[7] Kenneth Hudson often said that when lecturing to international audiences; of course neither him nor me could take any "laws" seriously, but this theses seems the nearest to one.
[8]  Wilson, J.Tuzo, in: Whitman, John. More Buttons Buzzers and Bells. Museum News, Washington, Sept/Oct 1978. p. 47
[9]  Sola, Tomislav. ..................... in: Museums 2000, Museums Association, UK, 198?
[10] Jaoul, Martine. 1995. Why reserve collections? Museum International, 188, vol.47, No.4
[11]  words of the president of the Conservation Committee at the occassion of the !5. General Conference of ICOM, The Hague, Netherlands, 1989.
[12] MacDonald, George F. L' avenir des musees dans le village global. 198? Museum, No 155, p.214
[13] Lord, Barry; Dexter, Gail; Nicks, John. 1989. The Cost of Collecting; Collection Management in UK Museums
[14] idem
[15] Heath, Alison M. 1977. The training of Education Officers; in: Museum education training. A conference of the Museum Education Association of Australia, Sidney, Australia, pp. 5 - 9
[16] Alexander, Edward P. 1979. Museums in Motion. An introduction to history and functions of museums. AASHL, Nashwille. p.119
[17] Lewis, Geoffrey, from his lecture at the Commonwealth Institute, International seminar "Museums in Education", 1982.
[18] Marsh, Georg Perkins. Man and Nature, 1864
[19] Mumford, Lewis. 1986. Mit o ma{ini. Zagreb
[20] Cossons, Neil., 1991. The Museums Profession. edited by Gaynor Kavanagh, Leicester University Press. p. 24
[21] Sola, Tomislav, lecture "Museum centres - corner stones of ... Rikstutstalningar, Stockholm
   The initiative for "central storage" for the museums of Zagreb, first proposed in 1982.
   "Slovenianum" the project of a new, central slovenian museum institution, .... Ljubljana........
[22] Ferriot, Dominique. 1995. Museum Reserve Collections. Museum International, 188 vol.47. No 4/728/35
[23] Dana, John Cotton. 1920. A plan for a New Museum, Elm Tree Press, Vermont
[24] Ludvigsen, Peter. 1995. A Workers' Museum in Copenhagen. Museum International, 188, vol 47, No 4, p.41
[25] Sola, Tomislav. 1995. How Museology perceives information technology. Commet Conference, Swansea/Barcelona, 1995.
[26] Pirlot, Constantine (ed.). 1972. Musee, Film, Television. ICOM, Paris. p.13
[27] The project was presented at the manifestation Imagina 1996.
[28] Glusberg, Jorge. Hladni i vru}i muzej, Zagreb, 1986. p.36
[29] Sola, Tomislav. The prologue to the cybernetic museum, a paper presented at the conference: Museums and the sustainable development 199?.....
[30] Sola, Tomislav. Slovenianum, Ljubljana; a project for an alternative national museum;

Page: 1