- Globalization has permitted greater mobility of collections, professionals, visitors and ideas which has impacted museums with both positive and negative effects that are reflected in increased accessibility and homogenization. Member States should promote the safeguarding of the diversity and identity that characterize museums and collections without diminishing the museums’ role in the globalized world.
Museum relations with the economy and quality of life
- Member States should recognize that museums can be economic actors in society and contribute to income-generating activities. Moreover, they participate in the tourism economy and with productive projects contributing to the quality of life of the communities and regions in which they are located. More generally, they can also enhance the social inclusion of vulnerable populations.
- In order to diversify their sources of revenue and increase self-sustainability, many museums have, by choice or necessity, increased their income-generating activities. Member States should not accord a high priority to revenue generation to the detriment of the primary functions of museums. Member States should recognize that those primary functions, while of utmost importance for society, cannot be expressed in purely financial terms.
- Member States are encouraged to support the social role of museums that was highlighted by the 1972 Declaration of Santiago de Chile. Museums are increasingly viewed in all countries as playing a key role in society and as a factor in social integration and cohesion. In this sense, they can help communities to face profound changes in society, including those leading to a rise in inequality and the breakdown of social ties.
- Museums are vital public spaces that should address all of society and can therefore play an important role in the development of social ties and cohesion, building citizenship, and reflecting on collective identities. Museums should be places that are open to all and committed to physical and cultural access to all, including disadvantaged groups. They can constitute spaces for reflection and debate on historical, social, cultural and scientific issues. Museums should also foster respect for human rights and gender equality. Member States should encourage museums to fulfil all of these roles.
- In instances where the cultural heritage of indigenous peoples is represented in museum collections, Member States should take appropriate measures to encourage and facilitate dialogue and the building of constructive relationships between those museums and indigenous peoples concerning the management of those collections, and, where appropriate, return or restitution in accordance with applicable laws and policies.
Museums and information and communication technologies (ICTs)
- The changes brought about by the rise of information and communication technologies (ICTs) offer opportunities for museums in terms of the preservation, study, creation and transmission of heritage and related knowledge. Member States should support museums to share and disseminate knowledge and ensure that museums have the means to have access to these technologies when they are judged necessary to improve their primary functions.