Page 13 - EuroVision – Museums Exhibiting Europe (EMEE). The E-book
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It is common knowledge that the collections displayed at city, regional or national history museums are always part not only of local, regional, or national, but also of European history. This is true even for many of those seemingly ‘typically local’ museum objects that can feature hid- den contexts raising European issues through references to transre- gional exchanges, interactions, and cultural transfer within Europe and beyond. Furthermore, what we commonly call European history, culture and identity, is utterly inconceivable without acknowledging the impact of transcontinental and cross-cultural contacts and the assimilation and integration of foreign in uences in the past and present that had a major in uence in shaping the Europe we live in today. In this regard, there is an increasing awareness that unilateral (local, regional, national) interpre- tations of the cultural heritage do not meet historical demands and do not suf ciently correspond with contemporary sociocultural experience in Europe.2
However, a curator’s knowledge about the multi-layered meanings of an object will always be outweighed by the many different percep- tions and interpretations of local visitors, who come from different back- grounds or are in uenced by different cultural experiences. In order to fully exploit the varying meanings of cultural heritage, experts have to invite and encourage visitors to contribute their individual views on the collection on display, which will necessarily re ect their cultural memo- ries and identities.
Therefore, museums striving to evolve and seeking to create a social space that allows for an exploration of the multiplicity of meanings
2 Cf. Macdonald, S. J. (2003) ‘Museums, national, postnational and transcultural identities’, Museum and Society, 1 (1), 1-16.
Baur, J. (2013) ‘Museum and Nation’, in
F. Lanz,, L. Basso Peressut et al. (eds) European Museums in the 21st Century: Setting the Framework, MeLa books vol. 2, 331-341, Milano: Politecnico di Milano.

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