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  • Writer's pictureTomislav S. Šola

Defining Museums - a task that goes beyond the obvious (3)

At all probability, that neither museum curators nor archivists or librarians would pass the prevailing criteria that constitute any profession in their own right, but rather those for a specific occupation within a wider heritage sector. They do strongly inspire the potential for some imaginary public memory profession that we failed to establish so far.

Unlike any occupation, any profession implies both levels and comprises a distinct societal position among professions that, depending upon the political system or circumstances, take a prominent part in the developmental decisions of the community or society. If taken with all seriousness and responsibility, formed within the profession as a mission statement, memory institutions occupy the highest strategic level of decision making as a certain public memory, -, always at the core of the democratic insight and incessantly negotiated. Without that core, the constantly negotiated norm of public memory, - democracy is hardly more than the self-arranged game of interests between power holders in any society, dependent nowadays upon politicians and corporate moguls than highly trained and responsible academically trained experts.

The main problem of the museum sector is that it never understood itself so widely as to turn, together with other memory institutions, into an independent, autonomous profession. That can be done without, any of them, losing their sometimes centuries, or in other cases, millennia-long specific institutional history.

(More about this can be found in the Vault, especially in the book by the same title)


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