In recent days museologists have been agitated. In about 100 words or just over 600 characters, the ICOM General Council has proposed to the museological community to revise the current concept, which except in error dates back to 1985.
About this concept has been published several critical has been made which we published yesterday, that we can be review on the ICOM website at: https://icom.museum/en/activities/standards-guidelines/museum-definition/
Some of these critical referecnes ara related to the perceived absence of a more explicit reference to the Educational Function of Museums and a certain dilution of its organizational figure as an institution.
Several national and working committees have been publicly requesting the postponement of the voting scheduled for early September in Kyoto at the ICOM General Assembly.
Regardless of the various arguments mobilized, which often confuse elements of social processes with social theory, this is a Kafkian discussion.
The concept of museums has been changing over time. The concept has not always been the same, and it will not always be the same. There is a certain normal nature to change when definitions fail to respond to realities. It is natural that thought wants to capture the real, translating it, delimiting it, trying to condition its scope.
We also know that between the being or not being Museum, various symbolic powers in society are swallowed.
The touch stone is this a factual question. Like any social institution, processes are defined by what they do (and is efficiency ) and not by their names. When we are sick we go to the hospital to get healthy; when we want to learn we go to school; When we file a crime complaint we go to the police station. When we go social conflit we went in the tribunal.
When we go to the museum what will we do?
This is a difficult question to answer, but it may help to understand some pointlessness of a debate about a supposedly distinctive essentiality of the organization that this debate seeks to capture, delimit, and sterilize.
What we find in museums is the heritage. What we do with heritage is the art of making museums. They are places of life, of creation and of encounter. Maybe three words were enough…