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Relationship between Museums and Municipalities: White Paper released!

Which benefits derive from the relationship between museums and municipalities?  How can the existing partnerships be enhanced? Do museums and local municipalities face the same challenges?   Which mechanisms are required to make these relations more efficient?

These are some of the questions which the White Paper on the “Relationship between Museums and Municipalities in Europe” sought to address. Prepared and written by Anne Krebs (Musée du Louvre) and Xavier Greffe (Université Paris I Sorbonne), this White Paper is the main outcome of the activities organized by the “Museums and Municipalities”, a European Policy Analysis Group initiated by ENCATC members in April 2010 and supported by the European Commission under the Culture Programme.  The document underscores the synergies and differences relating to the analysis of the museums’ missions and to the shared expectations of museums and municipalities.

The relationship between museums and municipalities has greatly evolved due to numerous factors: Municipalities have gradually acquired numerous collections which they entrust to museums; Local authorities are taking on greater responsibilities as a result of decentralization; The financial crisis has caused the State to reduce contributions to museums, and both museums and municipalities have started to look at each other as potential partners in a quest to achieve sustainable development. Whether museums are public or private, for‐profit or non‐profit, they are weaving closer and closer ties with corresponding municipalities and are becoming more aware of their role in contributing to social and economic development.  In light of such transformations, this European Policy Analysis Group focused its activities in 2010 on the analysis of the relations between museums and municipalities in Europe.

Input into this document was provided through an important questionnaire widely disseminated thanks to ENCATC, Eurocities, the Assembly of European Regions, AER, the Network of European Museums Organisations, NEMO, and the Direction Générale des Patrimoines (French Ministry of Culture and Communication) to museum managers, curators, local authorities, researchers and experts throughout Europe, in which over 200 museums and 50 municipalities took part (http://encatc.org/questionnaires/?l=en).  An international conference organized by ENCATC in Brussels on December 10th 2010 which brought together over 100 participants also provided the opportunity to review and debate the contributions received and to consolidate the audience’s concrete proposals and best practices into the drafting of the White Paper (www.encatc.org/pages/index.php?id=189). Included in the electronic appendices to the White Paper  (available in both English and French) are 14 case studies of the relationship between museums and municipalities in countries and cities across Europe and beyond: Germany, Lyon, Portugal, Venice, Italy, Bilbao, Split, Japan, Paris, Dunkerque, Sweden, United Kingdom, Rouen and Antwerp.

Initiated by ENCATC Members, the European Policy Analysis Group was made up of a core group composed of the Louvre Museum, the Manchester Museum (The University of Manchester), the municipality of Split and ENCATC and coordinated by the University Paris I Sorbonne.  The group aims to continue to stimulate discussions, conduct research and build partnerships between European Heritage, museums and galleries, municipalities and regions through ENCATC’s Thematic Area “Museums in Europe”.

 

More information

  • The electronic version of the White Paper is available on the ENCATC site: www.encatc.org.
  • For additional information and to contribute to the debate about Museums and Municipalities in Europe, please consult the blog of ENCATC’s Museums in Europe Thematic Area: www.encatc.org/museums-in-europe/?page_id=2

Source : ENCATC

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