Legal, Equitable, and Ethical Perspectives on Heritage in Museums
pp. 73-81 in Defining the Museum of the 21st Century: Evolving Multiculturalism in Museums in the United States (Yun Shun Susie Chung, Anna Leshchenko, Bruno Brulon Soares, Editors)
14 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2019
Date Written: February 1, 2019
Even though museums are expected to be adaptive to changing global trends, in reality, they occasionally find themselves rather passive, defensive and resistant to change especially if such change is not driven by our professional community itself. A self-defining process under the leadership of the International Committee for Museology (ICOFOM) is reaffirming of museums’ raison d’etre. The contemporary definition of the museum is expected to aid us communicate effectively common attributes and core value of museums to policymakers, even in the absence of its legal force. It will also remind community members that museums are here to serve them with the highest level of professional integrity. Finally, the ICOM (International Council of Museums) definition will empower the entire museum community and unite the voices in its ongoing efforts toward building consensus in the areas of multiculturalism and sustainable heritage stewardship, which museums are entrusted to lead. This paper further elaborates on the foundations of ethics, equity, and international law, such as the Nagoya Protocol, and their essential influences that should be a part of the standards of the definition.
Keywords: Museology, Definition, Museum Studies, Museum Law, Nation-Building, Equity, Museum Ethics, Nagoya Protocol
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