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European National Museums: Making Communities and Negotiating Conflicts

25 January 2012, Royal Museums of Art and History, Parc du Cinquantenaire 10, Brussels, Belgium

This event brings together researchers, museum professionals and policy makers to discuss the power and creation of national museums. National museums collect, preserve and display nations' most cherished objects to tell about nations' senses of themselves. These institutions have acted as cultural forces, integrating diversities and commonalities, in nation-states over the last two and a half centuries.

Firstly, the event will present findings from research on the ways in which national museums act as part of a cultural constitution, shaping and negotiating relations between culture and politics.

Secondly, a panel will discuss challenges and negotiations in terms of collections, communities and citizenship that arise when polities create new museums. All over Europe, the making of new history museums brings to the fore questions as to which stories and which objects should be put on display, for what audiences and with what results and future possibilities. Representatives from four recent initiatives, among them, the House of European History, initiated by the European Parliament, will take part in the panel.

The event is organised by the Eunamus - European national Museums: Identity Politics, the Uses if the Past and the European Citizen. This three-year research project is funded under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission. Co-organiser of the event is the House of European History, Brussels, a museum initiative launched in 2007 by Dr. H.-G. Pöttering, then President of the European Parliament.