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  • Writer's pictureTomislav S. Šola

Museums Will Have to Know Better

Tourist industry using heritage is a merciless competitor. The Royal Caribbean company unveils first cruise ship with bumper cars entertainment facility but also with an observation capsule with a bird's eye view over 90 meters above the water. This mechanical hand will hang near or, practically, over the attractions that the privileged customers, a nightmare of heritage conservationists, approach. As a handful theoreticians who understand heritage and museums try to signal, the position of public institutions is either stagnating or weakening. On the other hand, that of the businesses using heritage as their offer increases dramatically. To illustrate the point, let us just mention that there will soon be constructed a Giant Observation Wheel (GOW) to be located in Japan, twice as big as the famous London Eye or Singapore Flyer. “Once on board, the experience of looking out at a city landscape is transformed by augmented reality techniques, built into the transparent skin of the capsules.... The augmented reality offers viewers the option to immerse themselves in the historical and cultural relevance of the landscape they are looking at...” . To return to museums: they cannot compete with that! They will have to continue showing different wisdom to be able to retain the attention of the public. Public activism and assistance in their community’s development will have to be new reading of their potential. They will have to become increasingly attractive as wise friends and elders, able to offer healing social experience and reinforce identity, - leaving the breath-taking attractions to the others.

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