Monday, 14 December 2009

A Knight in Shining Armour

Well, we're here at the symposium! It's been a great morning thus far: many people eagerly showed up incredibly early, which was fantastic, although it meant we had to make multiple cups of tea!

We had one hitch - our poor keynote speaker, Sandra Dudley, was taken ill at the last minute. Fortunately, aid came to us in the form of Richard Sandell, who bravely stepped into the breech, and with about ten minutes of preparation, gave a wonderful presentation which, personally, I think was more about intangibility than perhaps might at first be apparent. Discussing "Museums, Moralities and Human Rights". These issues are not simple - nor do they deal with pure materiality, but rather about how we experience that and respond to it. It is often an emotional, contested, unresolved set of issues that arrive out of controversial exhibitions and debates and it affects every museum - whether or not they have a specific position or mission.

And here is a question. Museums have often liked to present themselves as non-partisan. Can we really justify such a position any longer?

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