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Museums, Peoples, Places: European museums and identity in history
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Professor Christopher Whitehead
Dr Rhiannon Mason
Whitehead C, Mason R
Basso Peressut, L., Pozzi, C.
European Museums in an Age of Migrations. Questions, Challenges, Perspectives
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Th is is an introduction to Work Package 1 of the EC-funded FP7 European Museums in an Age of Migrations (MeLa) project, which involves a historical and contemporary focus on the signifi cance of museum representations of place for expressions of cultural identity in European Museums. The importance of place in museums – as a conceptual, epistemological and representational framework– is fi rst considered historically, in relation to international museo-political relations (e.g. spoliation, colonial collecting etc.) nation building within the modern state. Th e essay then goes on to address questions surrounding place-people(s)-culture relations in contemporary European museums, involving consideration of the ways in which museums construct places and their inhabitants through representational practices. Establishing the parameters and methodologies to be adopted, we ask how such representations are fi gured and consumed at the present time, against a backdrop of changing geo-political and social orders brought about by EU legislation, migration and mobility and discourses about place (local, national, ‘European’ etc) in relation to citizenship.
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