As EVE has already discussed here on many occasions, the museums had their origin in the collection and preservation of valuables – what today we understand as cultural properties – which, in principle served their owners to show off and be admired by your envious friends. This collecting desire was drifting towards the scientific study, and hence to make use of objects as a means of teaching, putting them at the service of society. This institutional model has been developed, in some cases faster than others to the rhythm which marks the requirement of society for purchasing culture. Institutionally, the ICOM (International Council of Museums) defines Museum “as the institution permanent, non profit, at the service of society and of its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, it diffuses and exposes the material testimonies of man and his environment for education and the delight of the public that visit it”. This is a definition that we have used here on a few occasions and that leaves very clear the Cartesian conception of the term Museum. According to the theories of other theoreticians of the modern museum can be summarized that the main functions of the Museum are the following: · Acquire: function of the museums is not never give a collection complete, always taking in response to the demand of the public and trying to cover the cultural gaps existing through different ways to increase this collection: inheritances, shopping, gifts, transmissions, and deposits.
· Keep: it is the priority function in any Museum, to which must be added Exhibitor, the loan and the study. The Museum must ensure the subsistence of their exceptional goods as an important part of the story that are. Hence the restrictive nature of the loans and the restorations, always subordinate to the need for conservation.
· Investigate: from the maintenance and upkeep of the permanent collection, there are other two activities, one indoor (research and study) and another outside. The museums are not only showcases, are centers of study and Hence the dual role that occurs in its Conservatives that they are experts, scholars or researchers of the assets deposited in museums, and open at the same time, research scientists and specialists coming from outside.
· Communicate and display: the first thing they were looking for the museums was meet, enjoy privately collected goods, but immediately after came the desire to make public their collections, time coincident with the age of the Enlightenment, when the town is elevated to the category of the subject of history.Gerda Steiner and Jörg Lezinger
Unlike with other diffusers agencies of culture, the Museum is a permanent institution, i.e. that differs from those entities that promote temporary cultural events: the Museum has a collection of goods whose conservation must be guaranteed so it is bequeathed to future generations. This allows you to establish a stable relationship with their environment and their community. The Museum has an important role in the cultural development and the integral formation of the person. We speak of a valuable cultural bridge, an effective means of communication to reach the public opinion in general culture, and also of a Centre for studies and research specialists.
In the light of our ideas about Cultural democratization and new museology, Museum today require you the following: · Dynamism: the Museum must also purchase temporary character in their collections, you must continuously adapt to the demand of the public.
· Socio-cultural role: it will consider the needs of its society, to promote and integrate the population.
· Critical attitude: it performs its objects, shall be questioned his order and nature.
· It will enhance the communication: the public will not be spectator to be an integral part of the Museum, will be an actor; There will be a dialogue between the visitors and the institution of Museum; specialists in cultural expansion will require.
All answers that the Museum meets a society that evolves at an enormous speed, above all for the development of new digital communication society. At these times as they run, a vibrant, participatory, Museum to keep a direct and permanent contact with the public and which objects are attached to its natural context should be developed. The efforts made by many museums to adapt to society have led, in some cases, mutations or rare transformations; Some believe that they are evolutions little lucky, others not so much: the decentralized, local museum front national which acts as a cultural and social Center at the same time; the Museum supermarket, conceived as an industry of the merchandising and even that derives in franchising; museums in the open air; so carried and brought ecomuseums, which break the limit of the traditional museum walls to go the meeting of heritage in the external medium; and, finally, the autonomous Museum, whose management, increasingly convoluted, does not depend directly on their heritage.
In a next post we will look at the delimitation of the cultural field of the Museum, something that we believe is very important to have a clear picture of what should be a museum today.