Between conservation and communication

Between conservation and communication

Securing significant cultural heritage values in local communities: between conservation and communication

Project partner

Assistant Professor Line Vestergaard Knudsen, Aalborg University

Project period


Museums have for centuries interacted with their surroundings and strived to make a difference in their local, national or global community. But what happens when cultural history museums move outside the walls in order to influence physical public planning in their local areas? And what happens when museum curators communicate and discuss the local heritage with citizens in an attempt to engage them to reckon, use and preserve both tangible and intangible cultural heritage values?
This subproject aims to answer these questions through follow-up research with a special focus on three Danish museums: Brønderslev Museerne, Vesthimmerlands Museum and Muserum, Skive. The results of the project are relevant in a Danish situation where museums are currently obliged by law to collaborate with municipalities (in the so-called § 8-work) and thus contribute to the designation of significant cultural heritage values in cities and rural areas. When museum professionals are mobilized for this purpose they work to uncover heritage values, but in addition they might see their role as to also explore whether there will be local support and practices that can help to make the preservation of certain buildings and environments vibrant, relevant and sustainable in local communities. Museums can even take the role as promoters of local recognition of cultural heritage values.